Disappointment at ‘lack of clarity’ over schools coaching programme

December 10, 2018

Representatives of the GAA and Irish Football Association (IFA) met with the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education, Derek Baker, during last week to discuss future plans for the beleaguered Curriculum Sports Programme in schools.  

The scheme, which saw Gaelic and soccer coaches visiting primary schools across the north came to an end this year after a decade.  Funding for the programme ran out in October but the Department of Education said the scheme could return in 2019/20 should funding become available.  

Newry and Armagh SDLP MLA Justin McNulty, who attended last week’s meeting, expressed his disappointment at the “lack of clarity” surrounding the programme. 

He said: “After months of defending the need for this programme, I am disappointed we have failed to come any closer to having the programme reinstated in our schools across the north.

“The Curriculum Sports Programme has been fundamental to the physical and mental development of the primary school children that have went through it over the last decade, and it is absolutely shameful its value is not shared by all.”