First 80 schools announced for roll-out of Leaving Cert PE

One expert has expressed concerns that the roll-out in schools has arrived 25 years too late

First 80 schools announced for roll-out of Leaving Cert PE

Richard Bruton. Photo:

80 schools across the country have been chosen to start the roll-out of physical education as a Leaving Cert subject.

Students will start the PE curriculum in September, before sitting the exam in 2020.

The subject will be assessed in three strands - a physical activity project accounting for the 20% of the final marks, a performance assessment worth 30%, and finally a written exam worth 50%.

A full list of participating schools is available on the Department of Education's website.

Speaking at Our Lady of Mercy Secondary School in Beaumont in Dublin - one of the schools chosen for the roll-out - Education Minister Richard 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," he added.

However, there are warnings that the new PE curriculum will not work if there is not a change in the way teachers are educated.

DCU Professor of Health and Human Performance, Niall Moyna, says the change needs to begin with teachers.

He told Newstalk Breakfast: "I would like to see that all future PE teachers would take a degree in sports science and health, and then like every other teacher in the country do a h-dip - that's the kind of knowledge base that we're going to need to be able to teach this new modern curriculum."

He also noted: "I think it's long overdue that we start to acknowledge many of the skills and competencies that are learned through physical education - for too long they've been ignored. But unfortunately I think it's probably 25 years too late."