‘Lifeskills’ Survey of schools in Ireland

This report published by the Department of Education and Skills in the Republic of Ireland found that schools are playing an important role in promoting a Healthy Ireland, through healthy eating initiatives at primary level and the continued dedication of many teachers in supporting pupils in physical activity outside of school hours, even where this is not a mandatory requirement. However, while most post-primary schools have a healthy eating policy, the availability of ‘junk food’ remains a challenge, as does the level of physical education.

In total 2,135 primary schools and 325 post-primary schools responded to the Survey.

Primary schools

Healthy eating is strongly promoted within the schools with 97% of respondent primary schools promoting healthy lunches while 93% of respondents have a healthy eating policy in place or are in the process of developing one. In addition 99.7% of respondent schools reported that they do not facilitate the sale of fizzy drinks, sweets and crisps in school, either through vending machines or a school shop, however only 3% of schools have fruit for sale on site. The majority of schools involved provide their pupils with one hour of physical activity per week during school time. However, 81% of respondent schools reported that they are involved in sporting activities outside of school time.

Post-primary schools

Approximately 55% of respondent schools had a formal Healthy Eating policy in place, or being developed and 66% of schools reported themselves as active in promoting healthy lunches. Some 30% of schools reported having a vending machine or school shop which sells ‘junk food’ and 64% sold fresh fruit. More than 90% of the schools who responded are not currently meeting the recommended two hours of physical education per week. In relation to sporting activities outside of school time, 96% of schools reported that they engaged in such activities.

The next survey will be conducted in 2015.

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Posted: 12/02/2014 12:51:52 by Laura Keaver


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