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Minister Bruton announces first schools to study P.E. as Leaving Certificate subject

The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D. today announced that schools across the country will be partaking in the first phase of the implementation of the new Physical Education for Senior Cycle programmes. 80 schools will implement either the examinable Physical Education Leaving Certificate subject or the new Senior Cycle Physical Education Framework which is not for examination, or both.

This announcement is part of the overall emphasis this Government is putting on encouraging healthy lifestyles and is a key commitment in the Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland’s education and training system the best in Europe by 2026.

Students taking the new Leaving Certificate subject from September 2018 will sit the first Leaving Certificate Physical Education (LCPE) exam in 2020. The subject can be taken at both higher and ordinary levels. The new Senior Cycle Physical Education (SCPE) Framework, will provide a new modern curriculum for teachers to teach P.E. to all students at senior cycle.

A total of 369 schools applied to participate in the phase 1 roll-out, showing an outstanding demand across the country for Physical Education at Senior Cycle. The Minister said he was delighted that his Department had been able to offer places to so many schools for this first phase, and that the Department intends to roll out the new specification and Framework to all schools from 2020.

Speaking at one of the participating schools, Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School in Beaumont, Dublin 9, Minister Bruton said,

“Physical activity is so important for our overall wellbeing, not just our physical fitness but for our mental health too. Participation in sports is also fantastic for developing a person’s confidence and team work skills. That’s why I am delighted to announce the schools who are participating in Phase 1 of Physical Education for the Leaving Certificate – both as an examinable subject and the non-examinable Framework. This was an important commitment in the Action Plan for Education and is in line with this government’s overall emphasis on promoting healthy lifestyles.”

The Minister thanked the NCCA for its work on developing the subject specification and the Framework and the PDST for developing the training programme for teachers. The Minister also acknowledged the important role that students, teachers, parents and stakeholders played in the consultation and in-depth research necessary to develop the specification and Framework.