The Balfron Schools Cluster proudly announces that all eight schools within the area have received the esteemed Gold School of Sport Award from SportScotland. This remarkable achievement was celebrated during a prestigious ceremony held on Tuesday 5th December at Balfron High School. The award is the highest level given out by Scotland’s national agency for sport.

The award is a national initiative designed to encourage schools to reflect, plan, improve, connect, and place young people at the heart of what they do, and has set the standard for schools across the country for many years. The Gold School of Sport Award is granted to educational institutions that demonstrate exceptional commitment and dedication to promoting physical education, sports participation, and overall well-being among their students. This recognition acknowledges the tremendous efforts made by the staff and students at each school within the Balfron cluster.

Representatives from SportScotland, along with distinguished guests, were in attendance to commemorate this significant milestone. The ceremony highlighted the relentless pursuit of excellence in sports by the Balfron Schools, reinforcing their status as leaders in physical education within the region.

Throughout the academic year, the schools within the Balfron cluster have consistently encouraged and supported their students to engage in a wide range of sports and physical activities. Their commitment to fostering a culture of health and fitness has not only improved the physical well-being of the students but has also nurtured valuable life skills such as teamwork, discipline, and resilience.

Following a self-assessment tool process, each school in the cluster completed an action plan that would inform their goals and actions to develop sport across the year and would be the main consideration for whether they achieved the award. The phenomenal results of the plans are far too many to list, but the key impact across the cluster has been clear to see:

  • Over 90% of pupils in the learning community have attended extra-curricular activity.
  • Balfron High School Sports leaders have delivered a 12-week block of activity in each primary school.
  • Each primary school class have received a minimum of 4 weeks’ worth of taster sessions delivered by local clubs. Allowing a strong school to club link for all clubs involved in the area.
  • Each school has had representatives at learning community and regional events.

The Gold School of Sport Award recognises the outstanding facilities, comprehensive sports programs, and the dedication of the teaching staff to inspire and nurture the sporting talents of their students. The Balfron cluster's approach to sports education sets a shining example for schools across the country on the importance of promoting an active lifestyle, fostering healthy competition, and instilling lifelong values.

This tremendous accomplishment reflects the collaborative efforts of the Balfron Schools Cluster, its dedicated teachers, passionate students, supportive parents, and the wider community. The Gold School of Sport Award represents not only a recognition of their athletic achievements but also a testament to their unwavering commitment to holistic education.

Each school has been supported through the process by Neil Thomson, the clusters Active Schools Coordinator.

I am delighted for the learning community, each school has worked very hard to gain the Gold School Sport Award, since the award started all the schools have consistently done as much as they possibly can to make sure the standards don't drop, it’s a great learning community to work in and we look forward to maintaining this in years to come.

Neil Thomson, Active Schools Coordinator with Active Stirling.

The Balfron Schools Cluster takes immense pride in their Gold School of Sport Award, and they are excited about the continued journey towards excellence in sports education. The Balfron community congratulates all the schools involved for their remarkable achievement and wishes them every success in their future pursuits.

Reflecting on the achievement, Neil MacQuarrie, Head of PE at Balfron High School added:

I am really proud that Balfron High has now achieved its third gold flag from SportScotland. It makes me even more proud to know that every school in the cluster has achieved this accolade. As a cluster we work collaboratively to support the opportunities available to all pupils within the Balfron cluster. The support from Active Stirling is instrumental in building the opportunities for our high school pupils to deliver physical activity sessions to our primary schools and nurseries and to have our young leaders support after school clubs.

Our links to the community clubs remains strong and we continue to build on the work that we do with clubs like Strathendrick Rugby, Balfron Barracudas, Central Athletics and Innovate Gymnastics as well as other local clubs.

We continue to strive to achieve the best for all our young people and the self-evaluative nature of the award remains an important part of our planning for improvement.

Neil MacQuarrie, Principal Teacher of Health within Balfron High School.

The award will now be in place for the coming two years where each school can continue to celebrate through presenting their gold award flag while continuing to improve what they do to create sporting opportunities for every pupil.

Well done to all Gold School of Sport Awarded Schools: Balfron High School, Balfron Primary School, Buchlyvie Primary School, Drymen Primary School, Fintry Primary School Killearn Primary School, Kippen Primary School, Strathblane Primary School.

Find out more about the Active Schools Programme.

Follow them on X - @ActiveSchoolStg

Or visit the webpage -

Find more photos from this event in our Facebook Album - Balfron Schools Cluster Achieve Gold School of Sport Award - Photos