Tuesday, 26 April 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
149. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Education and Science her plans to ensure that children have access to play and physical education facilities in inclement weather conditions; if there is a timeframe in which her Department will ensure that all schools have such facilities, particularly in view of their importance in combating childhood obesity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13005/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): Many primary schools have a general purposes room for play and PE facilities during inclement weather. In addition, practically all schools have play areas which are utilised for teaching different aspects of the physical education programme. A similar situation with sports halls and outdoor facilities applies at second level. Many schools have the use of adjacent local facilities, including public parks, playing fields and swimming pools.
The provision of multi-purpose space for primary schools will continue to be considered within the design brief for new schools and-or renovation and extension of school buildings. This will also be the case for PE facilities at second level. This will be done in the context of available resources and the published criteria for prioritising school building projects.
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