Mairéad attended Mary Immaculate College Limerick where she completed a Bachelor of Education- primary teaching degree in 2019. During this degree she undertook a specialism in physical education (PE), and when the opportunity arose to further study in the area of primary school PE in Athlone she applied and was selected.
The feasibility of a full-time primary school physical education teacher administering a multi-centre/cluster primary school curriculum.
The aim of this project is to evaluate the feasibility of restructuring PE within primary schools nationally by implementing full-time dedicated PE teachers in an economically viable way. Current research shows PE provision in Irish primary schools is woefully insufficient and this project will engage with Irish primary school teachers, principals, pupils, and other stakeholders to find a solution that suits all.
The current system of PE provision in Ireland is not fit for purpose. Employing dedicated primary school PE teachers to ensure quality PE provision would work towards alleviating issues such as inadequate initial teacher training in PE, inadequate facilities and time for PE in schools, and teachers own poor personal experiences of PE. By changing how PE is provided for, Irish children could be set on the path to a lifetime of healthy behaviours.
A survey of primary school teachers and principals has been carried out and the results of this are currently being analysed.
Dr Kieran Dowd; Dr Aoife Lane; Dr Niamh Ní Chéilleachair