Update on Physical Education in schools

Date published: 03 November 2020

Education Minister, Peter Weir has secured a legal change to allow schools and other education settings to deliver Physical Education (PE).

This follows the Department obtaining an amendment to the current Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations which had meant that only non-contact PE could be provided outdoors in a maximum group of 15. 

The Minister said: “I know that schools have been concerned about the impact of the Regulations on the health and well-being of their pupils. 

“I have acted as quickly as possible to secure changes to the Health Regulations and I am pleased to say that schools can now legally deliver PE both outdoors and indoors and there is no legal cap on the number of participants.


“I want to thank the Department of Health and The Executive Office for their assistance in helping to resolve this issue so quickly.”

Concluding the Minister said it was important that schools continue to ensure that PE is delivered safely.

He said: “The benefits of physical and sporting activities in schools are clear. However, the Department would strongly advise that PE should be limited to non-contact sports, dance and other exercise activities at this time.”



Notes to editors: 

  1. Further guidance has issued to schools and is available at: https://bit.ly/38e26at
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at: Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk.
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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