In October 2000, my Department introduced a physical education grant for all primary schools. Since the introduction of the scheme, my Department provided in excess of €5.5 million in grant aid to primary schools under this scheme to enable schools provide coaching or mentoring in connection with physical education or to purchase resource materials associated with the provision of physical education.
Materials and equipment purchased by schools in previous years will generally be available to them for subsequent years.
In the light of budgetary constraints, it was decided to withdraw payment of the grant from 2003. The question of restoring the grant will be kept under review as part of the normal Estimates process in the coming years.
I would point out, however, that schools may use their general capitation funding to support the implementation of curricula including physical education.