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Written Answers. - School Curriculum.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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[1516]

 86. Mr. English Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English  asked the Minister for Education and Science Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  the progress which has been made with reference to the primary schools sports initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26813/02]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey The primary school curriculum was launched in 1999. In 2001, the Minister for Education and Science set up a task force representative of the partners in education and the sporting bodies to advise the Minister for Education and Science on the promotion in primary schools of sport, physical education and healthy lifestyles, to oversee the work of the national co-ordinators appointed by the Minister for this purpose, to propose ways in which participation can be greatly increased and to set targets to achieve these aims.

The primary school sports initiative was established under the auspices of the task force to introduce a pilot programme in physical education. A national co-ordinator and two assistant co-ordinators were assigned to the implementation of the initiative.

Some 27 schools with 350 teachers were selected to participate in the pilot projects. To date, 2.5 days in-service training in four strands of the physical education curriculum have been provided for all the participating schools.

As part of the primary school sports initiatives, grants of €635 were paid to all schools in 2001, and again in 2002, to enable them to purchase equipment for teaching physical education. Designated disadvantaged schools received grants of €1,270. An interim report on the progress of the primary school sports initiative was presented to the Minister for Education and Science in 2001.

Feedback on the effectiveness of the primary school sports initiative was obtained verbally and in evaluation forms from the teachers who participated in inservice. An evaluator has now been appointed to carry out a formal evaluation of the programmes. Questionnaires will be sent to schools as part of this evaluation in the near future.

The primary school sports initiative team has worked in collaboration with other sporting organisations in drawing up guidelines for coaches who are involved in providing programmes in schools. They are also in discussions with the National Parents Council – primary – about the need to raise awareness among parents about the importance of sport and physical activity for the physical development of children.

Questions Nos. 87 and 88 answered with Question No. 32.


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