EIGHT in 10 second-level teachers believe that physical education (PE) should be an exam subject, writes Katherine Donnelly.
They say that assessment of students in PE should include regular monitoring of fitness.
The research was carried out for Aviva Health Insurance among 205 teachers in second-level schools in 13 counties.
The findings were released at the launch of the Schools Fitness Challenge, which aims to boost physical activity among the junior cycle.
The challenge will be monitored by Professor Niall Moyna of the Centre for Preventive Medicine at Dublin City University (DCU) and Dr Sarah Kelly of IT Carlow.
The schools' challenge will involve a six-week training programme aimed at improving students' cardiovascular fitness, following which prizes will be awarded in nine different categories.
PE is not an exam subject in either the Junior or Leaving Certificates, although the official advice to schools is that students should do a minimum of two hours a week.