An increasing number of children at primary schools have a physical and/or sensory impairment, behavioural issues, are overweight or have a motor skill delay. There is much more diversity in the gym and it is essential that teachers and children can recognise and understand individual differences. The Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment Research Group researches possibilities to support (subject) teachers in inclusive physical education. The project is called ‘Disentangling Inclusion in Primary Physical Education’ (DIPPE). This is an international project in which eight European countries participate.

The project, which started in 2018, should result in a toolbox that gives (subject) teachers practical tools to design inclusive physical education in practice. This is not only about recognising the differences between pupils, but also to meet their different needs through adjustments to the curriculum and educational theory.

European survey

Before developing the toolbox, a survey was conducted in 19 European countries. The results provided an overview of the state of inclusive education and the support that teaching staff require in the gym in each country. The research showed that many teaching staff feel competent to include children with additional needs in their PE lessons. However, they do need support to involve all children in the lessons.


The toolbox can be found on the website of the international DIPPE project. The website also includes many references, literature and links to videos on inclusive exercise and sport. 

Participating countries

The research was conducted by degree programme lecturers and researchers from eight European countries: Luxemburg, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, England, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Netherlands. It is part of the European Erasmus+ research programme.

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