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Physical Education in Schools - Results of an Electronic School Survey (Stage 1)


Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI)

Subject Keywords: Education and training
Topic: Obesity
Type: Report
Region: Northern Ireland

Physical Education (PE) is a compulsory part of the revised curriculum for all pupils from age 4 to16. The Department of Education has encouraged schools to give pupils at least two hours quality curricular PE per week. 

The statutory Minimum Content for PE requires schools to deliver Athletics, Dance, Games, and Gymnastics at Foundation and Key Stage 1. At Key Stages 2 and 3 the same areas must be delivered (apart from Dance at Key Stage 3), plus swimming is also statutory. At Key Stage 4 pupils may study PE at GCSE or equivalent level, but must have the opportunity to plan and participate in a regular, frequent and balanced programme of PE that, among other things, contributes to, and helps sustain, a healthy and active lifestyle.

"Sport Matters: The Northern Ireland Strategy for Sport and Physical Recreation, 2009 - 2019" has been developed by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in partnership with Sport Northern Ireland. The strategy aims to promote a culture of lifelong enjoyment and success in sport and sets out a number of actions/targets involving a range of stakeholder organisations. The key action for the Department of Education is to establish a baseline for the number of children of compulsory school age participating in a minimum of two hours quality physical education per week. The Department is also contributing to opportunities for children to participate in extra-curricular physical recreation through the Extended Schools Programme and funds the Curriculum Sports Programme which aims to develop the physical literacy skills of our youngest pupils.




Rights: © Crown copyright
Suggested citation:

Department of Education Northern Ireland (DENI). (2012) Physical Education in Schools - Results of an Electronic School Survey (Stage 1) [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 12th November 2019].


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