Every school sports-hall request rejected as cost put at €800m

Government turning down all applications despite PE’s addition to Leaving Cert

PE class: many schools say they lack adequate sports facilities. Photograph: Getty

PE class: many schools say they lack adequate sports facilities. Photograph: Getty

 

All requests by secondary schools to build or upgrade sports halls are being turned down despite the introduction of Physical Education on the Leaving Cert curriculum this year.

An internal Department of Education report on capital investment priorities over the next decade notes that while there are deficient PE facilities in many schools, the department is “not currently in a position to consider applications”.

Records show the department estimates it would cost about €450 million to provide or upgrade PE halls across secondary schools. It estimates the provision or upgrade of “general purpose rooms” in primary schools would cost another €360 million.

PE is set to be introduced as a Leaving Cert subject from this September in a pilot group of about 80 schools.

It is due to be made available across all secondary schools which want to take up the subject from about 2020 onwards.

Many schools say they lack adequate sports facilities and report being turned down for sports capital grants operated by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Priority

She added that of the 360 schools which applied to be part of the pilot group delivering PE as an exam subject, the “vast majority” had access to appropriate facilities.