Education of ireland today,chapter 13 helped me out,ministry of education jamaica- grade 4 literacy results - Review

Here you have a list of opinions about department of education and skills ireland and you can also give us your opinion about it. You will see other people's opinions about department of education and skills ireland and you will find out what the others say about it. In the image below, you can see a graph with the evolution of the times that people look for department of education and skills ireland.
Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest department of education and skills ireland has and the evolution of its popularity. You can leave your opinion about department of education and skills ireland here as well as read the comments and opinions from other people about the topic. Highest Education Level Attained (Populations Age 25+): The data represents the percentage of people in the area over age 25 who have attained a particular education level. Education Index: The Education Index for Zip Codes and places are comprised of a combination of socio-demographic characteristics.
Education Enrollment (Population Age 3+): The data represents the percentage of people in the area over age 3 who are currently enrolled at each type of learning institution. Index score: (100 = National Average) for an area is compared to the national average of 100. ChandlerKBS worked with the Strategic Investment Board (Northern Ireland) and DENI to develop the procurement strategy that had been initially produced by others. In addition to drafting all Prequalification documents and Invitation to Tender documents, ChandlerKBS developed the scoring mechanism and led the teams undertaking the assessment process.
And below it, you can see how many pieces of news have been created about department of education and skills ireland in the last years. These index scores are not based statistically upon the performance of specific schools, programs or colleges located in these areas.
A score of 200 indicates twice the national average, while 50 indicates half the national average. DENI wished to move away from traditional procurement methods that required contractors to tender a price in a competition where the lowest price tendered was selected. An important stakeholder was the Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) that is the centre for procurement excellence in Northern Ireland. ChandlerKBS drafted the recommendation report and de-briefed all of the unsuccessful tenderers. The State’s role in education is underpinned by the principles of pluralism and respect for diversity in Irish society.
Throughout the process, ChandlerKBS worked closely with DENI’s legal advisors in order to ensure compliance with EU Procurement legislation. In addition, ChandlerKBS worked with DENI’s many stakeholders to ensure that those technical staff who would have to deliver the programme of work were fully conversant with the new approach and fully supported the changes to traditional methods. The publication in June 1992 of the Green Paper, Education for a Changing World, was followed by a wide-ranging consultative process. The National Education Convention which took place in Dublin Castle in October 1993 was an unprecedented event in Irish education and indeed in policy formation generally.
The publication of the Convention Report in January 1994 was followed by the publication by the Minister for Education of two position papers on regional education structures and school governance which were then the subject of formal consultations with the partners in education.
This consultative process culminated in the publication in April 1995 of the White Paper, Charting our Education Future, which outlined a comprehensive programme for change in Irish education.
This process paralleled the launch in 1994 of the Strategic Management Initiative (SMI), the beginning of a major change programme for the civil, and wider public, service. In setting out plans for a fundamental reorganization of the Department of Education and Science, as well as a wide range of policy measures and directions, the White Paper provides the basic strategic planning framework for the Department.The White Paper charted the broad course of education reform and set out significant organizational developments for the delivery of education services, seeking to allow for flexibility to meet particular needs and circumstances, and respecting legitimate rights and responsibilities among the partners and the different levels of the education system. A major objective of the White Paper has been that the responsibility for the provision of educational services should, where possible, be devolved to regional, school or institutional level. The primary school curriculum has been reviewed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) to take account of the ongoing rapid social, scientific and technological change, and of Ireland’s position in the European Union and in the wider world. Under this initiative, a number of selected primary schools in urban and rural areas have been targeted for an intensive package of additional supports, including additional staffing and reduced class sizes in large urban schools, special additional funding for materials and equipment and a special programme of in-career development. Concerning second-level education, a major objective is that the percentage of the 16- to 18-year-old age group completing senior cycle will increase to at least 90%. This objective is to be achieved through providing a combination of an effective foundation of general education and a strengthened and expanded vocational orientation. The White Paper signalled a number of changes at Junior Cycle level to ensure that a broad and balanced curriculum would be available for all students.
A particular priority has been to develop a system of assessment for testing the achievement of all the objectives of the curriculum. A new Junior Certificate Elementary Programme has been developed to cater to a small minority of students whose learning needs are not adequately met by the Junior Certificate. Particular emphasis has been laid on continuous assessment.The principal policy directions envisaged in relation to adult and continuing education and vocational education and training are to establish both as components of the education system, with equivalence of treatment for different modes of delivery.
Tackling disadvantage among adults has also been emphasized, through, for example, the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme and through ensuring that programmes are in place for all those who wish to overcome literacy and numeracy difficulties.The past twenty years have seen a major transformation in the structure of the third-level sector. This includes the development and expansion of the Regional Technical Colleges (now the Institutes of Technology), the Dublin Institute of Technology and the two National Institutes for Higher Education.
In 1989, the National Institutes were designated as universities and, in 1993, the Regional Technical Colleges (the Institutes of Technology) and the Dublin Institute of Technology were placed on a statutory footing. During the same period, considerable growth occurred in the university sector, particularly in the disciplines of technology and business. This growth was accompanied by a wide range of innovative developments in the arts and the social sciences. The White Paper contained a commitment to introduce new legislation for the university sector. An extensive consultation process on the scope of the legislation followed the publication of the White Paper. A position paper was published in 1995 and the dialogue continued following the publication of the Universities Bill in July 1996. 24, 1997, reconstituted the constituent colleges of the National University of Ireland and placed them on an independent footing. It provided for more representative governance structures for all universities in which all major stakeholders have an involvement, and established more representative and democratic structures within the universities themselves. It provided for improved accountability, quality and transparency provisions for all the universities.
All of this has been achieved within a legislative framework which has at its centre the preservation of academic freedom, respect for the diverse traditions of the universities and a strong commitment to institutional autonomy.There is universal acceptance that education must be a lifelong process if the aim is to have an inclusive society which can adapt successfully to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing global economy. A White Paper on Adult Education, Learning for Life, was launched in 2000 following an extensive consultation process.
The Paper set out a comprehensive strategy for the future development of adult education, covering a major expansion of learning options, a national adult literacy programme, technical, guidance and quality supports and structures for co-ordination and integration. Particular emphasis has been placed on catering for disadvantaged children and children with special needs.
The Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development was established in 2002 in order to coordinate and develop early childhood education provision in pursuance of the objectives in the White Paper.
Tackling educational disadvantage is set in the context of the Government’s National Anti- Poverty Strategy (NAPS), published in 1997 and revised in 2002, and the Social Partnership Agreement. A central objective of the strategy is to ensure that all young people leave the education system with a high quality education and related qualifications to support their full participation in society and the economy.
A related objective is to ensure that all those who have already left school have an opportunity to address any lack of educational and related qualifications that militate against their ability to participate fully in society, the economy and employment. This approach is based on a continuum of provision, from early childhood through adulthood, with the focus on preventive strategies, targeting and integrated community responses. Some €460 million was provided in 2003 for measures designed to counter educational disadvantage. This provision encompasses pre-school initiatives, programmes for disadvantaged students at primary and post-primary level, disadvantaged youth schemes and further education measures. A number of measures designed to broaden access to third level education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds have been put in place. The statutory Educational Disadvantage Committee established under the Education Act 1998, advises the Minister of Education and Science on the policies and strategies to be adopted to identify and correct educational disadvantage.The aim of the new Action Plan for Educational Inclusion (Delivering Equality of Opportunities in Schools) is to ensure that the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities are prioritized and effectively addressed. The differences between urban and rural disadvantage will be taken into account in targeting actions under the programme.
It will also involve the creation of about 300 additional posts across the education system generally. An Action Plan for Educational Inclusion, May 2005).The Strategy Statement sets out the key objectives and related strategies of the Department of Education and Science over the period 2005-2007.
In addition, the goals and objectives outlined in the Statement are designed to contribute to a range of policies developed by the Government to address issues of national strategic importance. These include among others the National Development Plan 2000-2006, the Social Partnership Agreement Sustaining Progress 2003-2005, the National Anti-Poverty Strategy, the National Action Plan against Poverty and Social Exclusion 2003-2005, and the National Children’s Strategy.
The Strategy Statement is drawn up within the framework of available resources and in the context of Government policy and the Department’s mission statement and high-level goals.
Foremost among these is to provide for free primary education and to supplement and support other educational initiatives.
The State discharges its constitutional duties by disbursing almost all the funding for the education system at first and second levels and by ensuring that the education provided by the schools meets appropriate standards in curriculum and teaching methods.
In addition, the role in education of the various religious denominations is recognized in the Constitution. The result is a complex interweaving of the rights and responsibilities of the principal interests in education, which requires a careful balancing so that the rights of the child, as student, can be upheld.The Education Act of 1998 complements the constitutional provisions relating to education. The Act places the central features of first- and second-level education on a statutory basis and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of all of those involved in education including school principals and teachers. It promotes the development of partnership at school level and provides a framework for the development of a supportive and dynamic working environment for teachers.
It also explicitly recognizes the roles of the partners in education at a national level in the policy-making process, providing for consultation in a wide range of areas.
Many of the provisions of the Act simply codify and standardize what is already happening within schools. However, this serves an important purpose in providing transparency and clarity as regards the rights and responsibilities of each of the stakeholders, as well as facilitating best practice and the effective and efficient use of resources. The Act also provided for the establishment of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.The University Act No. Until 2006, the HEA has only had funding responsibility for the seven universities and certain smaller designated institutions.The Child Care Act of 1991 acknowledges the links between health and education measures. It provides for consultation with the Minister for Education in regard to regulations concerning the health, safety, welfare and development of pre-school children availing of pre-school services.The legislation relevant to secondary schooling in Ireland is in the School Attendance Act of 1926 and its amendments, the Intermediate Education (Ireland) Act of 1878 and the Intermediate Education (Ireland) Act of 1914. The Vocational Education Act of 1930 and its amendments (the most recent was in 2001), provides for technical and continuing education. The Education (Welfare) Act of 2000 provides a new statutory framework for promoting regular school attendance and tackling the problems of absenteeism and early school leaving.



The Act provides for coordinated supports and strategies to ensure that young people remain actively involved in education up to early adulthood.
The lead role in this is given to the National Educational Welfare Board, a new statutory agency to develop and implement school attendance policy. The Board maintains a register of children receiving education outside the recognized school structure and assesses the adequacy of such education on an ongoing basis.
The Act repealed the School Attendance Acts, 1926 to 1967.The Teaching Council Act of 2001, amended in 2006, provides for the establishment of a Teaching Council as an independent statutory agency to promote and maintain best practice in the teaching profession and in the education and training of teachers. The Teaching Council will maintain a register of teachers and a code of professional conduct for registered teachers, determine the education and training requirements for the purposes of registration as a teacher, and promote the continuing education and professional development of teachers, who must be given a significant degree of autonomy in the regulation and development of their profession. Attendance at full-time education is compulsory for all children between 6 and 15 years of age. The minimum school leaving age is being raised to 16 under the Education (Welfare) Act of 2000.Administration and management of the education systemThe Department of Education and Science (prior to June 1997, the Department of Education) is responsible for the administration of public education, primary, post-primary and special education. State subsidies for universities and third-level colleges are channelled through the Department. The Teaching Council was established on a statutory basis in March 2006 to promote teaching as a profession at primary and post-primary levels, and in particular to promote the continuing professional development of teachers, establish and maintain a register of teachers, regulate the teaching profession, and maintain and improve standards of teaching, knowledge, skill and competence.The aim of the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development, established in 2002, is to develop and coordinate early childhood education in pursuance of the objectives of the White Paper Ready to Learn and to advise the Department of Education and Science on policy issues in this area. The Commission assumed responsibility for the operation of the State Certificate Examinations from the Department of Education and Science from 2003 onwards. The organization is staffed by civil servants and there are five Commissioners appointed by the Minister for Education and Science. The Commission is responsible for the operation of all aspects of the established Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, Leaving Certificate Applied and Junior Certificate Examinations including written, oral, aural and practical components and assessed course work in some subjects.
Certain trade and professional examinations are also organized.Legislation passed in 1971 set up the Higher Education Authority (HEA) with responsibility for furthering the development of higher education and assisting in the coordination of State investment in higher education and preparing proposals for such investment. In addition, the Authority advises the Minister on the need or otherwise for the establishment of new institutions of higher education, on the nature and form of those institutions and on the legislative measures required in relation to their establishment. It is also required to maintain a continuous review of the demand and need for higher education.
It also sets and monitors standards in the Institutes of Technology and, through it, a transfer network operates whereby students can move from certificate to diploma to degree level depending on examination performance.
Qualifications awarded by this body are internationally recognized by academic, professional, trade and craft bodies. Most colleges also have courses leading directly to the examinations of the many professional institutes.The National Council for Vocational Awards (NCVA) was established on an ad hoc basis in October 1991 to develop a comprehensive assessment and certification system for a wide range of vocational programmes with particular reference to the education sector.
Its functions have been transferred to the Further Education, Training and Awards Council, set up as a statutory body in June 2001 under the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act of 1999. Its mission is to make quality assured awards in accordance with national standards within the national framework, creating opportunities for all learners in further education and training to have their achievements recognized, and providing access to systematic progression pathways.TEASTAS, the Irish National Certification Authority, was established on an interim basis in 1995. Its main function was to advise the Minister on the establishment of an integrated framework of certification for all education and training outside of the universities. These reports contained different proposals for the format for a new authority or authorities that would be responsible for certification and would guarantee quality. The Qualifications (Education and Training) Act of 1999 is substantially based on the proposals in the second report.
The Council was first established as an independent statutory body by order of the Minister for Education and Science in December 2003.
With effect from 1 October 2005 it has been formally established under the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004. These include, for example, the National Education Welfare Board, the National Adult Learning Council, the National Centre for Guidance in Education, the National Coaching and Training Centre, and the National Centre for Technology in Education, established in 1998 under the auspices of the Department of Education and Science to provide advice, support and information on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education.While certain categories of schools, such as community and model schools, are the property of the Minister for Education, Irish schools, in the main, are owned not by the State, but by community groups, traditionally religious groups (although, more recently, schools have been formed under the aegis of other groups, in particular all-Irish and multi-denominational groups) and vocational education committees. Secondary schools, educating about 60% of students in the second-level sector, are privately owned and managed institutions; the majority of schools are managed by religious communities and the remainder by Boards of Governors and individuals.
They are recognized by the Department of Education and Science and are subject to its regulations. The State gives considerable financial assistance to these schools, including payment of the teachers’ salaries and allowances, per capita grants for each recognized student, and grants in lieu of tuition fees to the 95% participating in the free education scheme. The salaries and allowances of teachers in fee-paying schools are also paid from State funds. In the main, these schools are not eligible for other grants under the free education scheme.
Protestant-managed fee-paying schools receive assistance under the Protestant block grant, in lieu of the per capita grant, and are also eligible for other grants available under the free education scheme. Vocational schools, are administered by, and funded through, Vocational Education Committees. Community and comprehensive schools are managed by Boards of Management of differing compositions. The Boards of Management of community schools are representative of the local Vocational Education Committee, the religious communities, parents and teachers.
The Boards of Management of comprehensive schools are representative of the relevant diocesan religious authority, the local Vocational Education Committee and the Minister for Education and Science. Although children in Ireland are not obliged to attend school until the age of 6, most 4-year-olds and almost all 5-year-olds are enrolled in infant classes in primary schools. The Department of Education funds a number of pre-school initiatives, focusing in particular on children at risk.Primary educationAs children may be enrolled in primary education on their fourth birthday, primary schools accommodate an age group which in many other countries is considered pre-school or nursery. The typical primary school divides pupils by age into eight year-groups or standards ranging from Junior and Senior Infants to Sixth Class.
The primary education sector comprises primary schools, special schools and non-aided private primary schools.Secondary educationSecondary education consists of a three-year junior cycle followed by a two- or three-year senior cycle. In the senior cycle there is an optional one-year Transition Year Programme followed by a choice of three two-year Leaving Certificate programmes. Students normally sit for the examination at the age of 17 or 18, after five or six years of post-primary education. The second-level sector comprises secondary, vocational, community and comprehensive schools.An increasing number of courses are available to students on completion of second-level education (age 17+). These courses are organized mainly in vocational schools and offer a wide variety from repeat Leaving Certificate courses, vocational preparation courses and pre-third level courses.
At the colleges of National University of Ireland, the duration of study for the first degree (bachelor’s degree) is, with some exceptions, three years.
First-degree courses in engineering, agriculture and science generally take four years, five years in the case of architecture and veterinary, and five or six years for dentistry. The first postgraduate degree (master’s degree) requires another one to three years of study and can be taken either by thesis or by examination and minor thesis. At the discretion of the Board of Management, secondary schools may operate a five or six day week. If the school has a six-day week it is required to be in operation for a minimum of 199 days. Twelve days of public examinations (usually the last three weeks of June) may be included as part of the 179 days required at second level since the majority of the examination centres are in the schools.The financing of educationThe current and capital costs of primary schools, including the full cost of teacher salaries, are predominantly funded by the State and supplemented by local contributions. In addition, special funding arrangements are in place for some schools, for example, in disadvantaged areas and for children with special needs.In recent years in response to local parental demand, a number of multi-denominational schools, and a number of primary schools where education is through the medium of Irish, have been established. The all-Irish schools receive full capital grants, an additional 50% of the normal capitation grants and usually have an extra teacher.
Most of the all-Irish schools function as denominational, with Catholic Bishops as patrons.All vocational, comprehensive and community schools are funded directly or indirectly by the Department of Education and Science. The majority of voluntary (privately owned) secondary schools receive capitation grants and some additional grants from the Department. Full-time and other teachers who are recognized as being within the quota receive most of their salaries from the Department.
Since 1969, the school management authorities paid an annual sum to each incremental teacher: this was called the basic or school salary. Traditionally the voluntary school managers paid the basic salary as a token of their role as employer.
Along with the Vocational Education Committee the religious communities contribute about 10% of the capital cost of Community Schools–though Vocational Education Committee money comes from the State. Widespread concern about the equity of the student grant schemes and the regressive impact of income tax relief for covenants led the Government to abolish undergraduate tuition fees in publicly funded third-level institutions.
In 1996, students paid half-fees and from 1997 undergraduate fees in these institutions have been abolished. Income tax relief at the standard rate will also be available for fees paid for approved courses in private colleges.Over recent years the State has invested substantial resources in the education service, both in schools and in support services for students and teachers alike. Since 1997, State funding for education has increased by some 70%, with an education budget for 2001 of some IR?3.7 billion. The increase in funding has facilitated significant improvements in services across all levels of education provision including the provision of additional teaching posts. About 80% and 77% of expenditure, at primary and second level respectively, was spent on salaries and superannuation. The curriculum in those two years is part of an integrated programme which extends for eight years to the end of primary schooling. Each pre-school employs fully qualified primary school teachers and qualified childcare assistants.
Parental involvement is also a fundamental part of the programme.When pre-schooling services exist, they are usually private and outside the formal education system. Most of pre-school playgroups are privately owned registered with the Irish Playgroups Association.
The health authorities also give grants to voluntary bodies, to provide pre-schooling for children with disabilities and for disadvantaged groups.
Speech development through rhythm, rhymes and poems, story-telling, puppetry, mime and drama may also be used.
At the appropriate ages, children will be introduced to the written word and to the elements of reading and writing. The activities of the Centre target children from 0 to 6 years of age in a wide variety of settings, including families, nurseries, creches, playgroups, child minders, pre-schools and the infant classes of primary schools.Primary educationPrimary education is founded on the belief that high-quality education enables children to realize their potential as individuals and to live their lives to the fullest capacity as is appropriate to their particular stage of development. A good primary education gives children a firm basis for future participation in and progression through the education system.
The White Paper (1995) re-iterated these aims.The primary education sector comprises national schools, special schools and non-aided private primary schools. These schools catered for 449,298 full-time pupils, including 9,357 pupils with special education needs in national schools and 6,621 pupils in special national schools. Most primary schools are co-educational.The vast majority of the primary schools are state-aided parish schools, having been established under diocesan patronage. The privately-owned primary schools are not part of this system, but they offer broadly a similar type of education as primary schools.
In recent years, a small number of multi-denominational schools have been established in response to local parental demand, and these receive State support on the same terms as denominational schools.The average age for starting school is age 4 and the typical primary school divides pupils by age into eight year-groups or standards ranging from junior and senior infants to Standard VI.
However, in smaller schools it is necessary to combine different class levels with one teacher, for example infants and senior infants will often be taught in one class; Standards I and II, or at times, I, II and III may be combined.


Normally pupils who spend less than two terms in junior infant classes in one year will be retained in the same grade in the following year. On occasion, a pupil who moves from one national school to another may be asked to repeat junior infants or senior infants class in the second school. Some are multi-grade classes and almost a quarter of all classes are consecutive grade classes or classes where two Standard groups are combined, for example first and second standard together.There are different levels of responsibility for the development and implementation of the curriculum. At national level, the curriculum is formulated by the Minister of Education on the advice of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Department of Education and Science oversees its implementation through its Inspectorate. These principles identify a child-centred approach, outlined in the 1971 review of the primary school curriculum, which radically changed the philosophy and methodology of primary education from its previous emphasis on subject-centred, didactic teaching.
The following year, the Minister of Education invited the NCCA to conduct a continuing review of the primary curriculum, while retaining the basic principles adopted in 1971.
A revised primary curriculum was launched in 1999, the first complete revision of the curriculum since 1971.
It also takes account of the changing nature of society and aims to help children to adjust to these changes.
New emphases within the curriculum include a focus on pupils’ learning styles, the integration of assessment into all areas of teaching and learning and the role of ICT. Primary schools are required to provide four hours of instruction per day in all classes except infants classes where three hours are required.
A flexible approach consisting of blocks of time rather than clearly defined half-hour periods is advised.
However, there is a pattern evident in the numbers of teaching hours per year allocated to specific subjects. In the early years of primary schooling 129 hours are devoted to the mother tongue (Irish) and 110 hours to English. At the end of primary school, 184 hours are given to the mother tongue and 147 to the second language. However, a small number of schools provide opportunities for learning a European language (usually French); this is taught after school hours and usually funded by parents. The Education Act places an obligation on principals and teachers to regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results to the students and their parents. A significant feature of the revised primary curriculum is the central position given to assessment in the teaching and learning process. It is accepted that the use of assessment strategies directed towards the identification of, and provision for children's needs adds enormously to the effectiveness to teaching and learning. While many teachers of senior classes give regular tests to assess progress, all teachers follow some method of continually assessing their pupils. A formal report card is completed by each teacher about each pupil at the end of primary education. It is the normal procedure that pupils advance from one class to another at the end of each school year, and repeating a class is not usual.There is no formal examination at the end of primary education and no formal certification is provided. The recommendations of the NCCA regarding assessment in the primary curriculum do not specify certification as such. The Council recommends the development of a standard pupil profile and a pupil report card with access to dated assessment being available to teachers, head teachers or principals and parents.Basic staffing levels for primary schools are governed by the numbers of pupils in the schools and the manner in which these numbers fall within the enrolment ranges specified by the Department of Education and Science in the schedule of enrolments for the appointment and retention of teachers. The introduction of a recommended average maximum class size of 30 at primary level, with associated increases in staffing allocations to enable schools to achieve this objective, has a significant step towards improving the educational experience of primary school pupils.Secondary educationSecondary education consists of a three-year junior cycle followed by a two- or three-year senior cycle. As a rule, children may transfer to secondary schools when they have completed the full primary course, usually at age 12.
They may follow a two-year Leaving Certificate programme immediately after Junior Certificate, or they may opt to follow a Transition Year programme before the commencement of the three two-year Leaving Certificate programmes. The Transition Year has been introduced to provide students with enriched opportunities for personal development. Accordingly, schools are not permitted to offer a three-year Leaving Certificate programme, since this would undermine the Transition Year objectives. Whatever their socio-economic background, gender or special educational or curriculum needs, individual students are encouraged to reach their full potential as they advance through the education system. The education of each student is valued equally, despite a wide range of individual differences in background, abilities or early experiences and achievements.
The junior cycle covers a vital period in young people’s lives when they encounter significant changes in their educational experience. The Junior Certificate Programme was introduced in 1989 to provide a single unified programme for students broadly between 12 and 15 years of age.
This programme seeks to extend and deepen the quality of students’ educational experience in terms of knowledge, understanding, skills and competencies and to prepare them for further study at senior cycle.
The Junior Certificate Programme also contributes to the moral and spiritual development of students, and encourages them to develop qualities of responsible citizenship in a national, European and global context.Secondary schools offer a broadly similar, comprehensive programme during the three-year junior cycle.
Facilities for certain subjects such as metalwork, woodwork (materials technology) and mechanical drawing are generally more available in the state-funded schools (vocational, comprehensive and community) and in boys’ single-sex schools.
The provision of modern languages, art, music, drama and home economics has traditionally been more widespread in voluntary secondary schools. The introduction of the Junior Certificate Examination and the three-year curriculum leading to it, has helped to bring the types of secondary schools towards a fairly similar pattern of curricular provision.The principal objective of the junior cycle is for students to complete broad, balanced and coherent courses of study in a variety of curricular areas which will promote student personal development and equip them to proceed to senior cycle education.
The junior cycle curriculum is subject-centred and teachers specialize in particular subjects. Students take a number of core subjects (Irish, English, mathematics, history, geography and civics) and at least two other subjects from a list that includes languages, science, home economics, business studies, music, art, craft and design. Comprehensive and community schools are required to provide comprehensive curricula combining academic and practical subjects. As a rule, students in junior cycle study from eight to ten subjects for the Junior Certificate Examination. In addition, the majority of schools also include physical education and religious education.In August 1996, the Minister for Education announced the introduction of the Junior Certificate Elementary Programme. The new programme offers an alternative approach to achieve the aims and educational standards of the Junior Certificate.
It caters to disadvantaged students who have serious difficulties with basic literacy, numeracy and other skills or lack adequate confidence because of experiencing repeated failure in their schooling.All schools organize tests during and towards the end of the school year. Many teachers also give regular tests within class periods to stimulate the learning process. A small number of schools (mainly fee-paying private voluntary secondary schools) have more frequent tests and forms of evaluation to provide information for pupils and parents. The majority of the schools also organize formal tests a few months prior to the sitting of the Junior Certificate examination to assess the performance levels of students. The Junior Certificate examination is an externally set and externally assessed state examination.The aims of the senior cycle are to encourage and facilitate students to continue in full-time education during the post-compulsory period by providing a stimulating range of programmes suited to their abilities, aptitudes and interests.
An important overall objective of the restructuring of the senior cycle is to provide for the holistic development of all students progressing to the end of senior cycle and to foster the sense of self-esteem, self-reliance and innovation which will empower them to actively shape the social and economic future of society.Introduced in the early 1970s on a pilot basis, the transition year became an option in 1987 and since September 1994, all junior cycle students had a right to an additional year in senior cycle. While the curricular content of the transition year is a responsibility of the school, the Department of Education’s guidelines advise appropriate consultation with students and parents. The curriculum includes social education, moral education, education for living (including homecrafts and education for parenthood, employment and leisure), philosophy and applied logic, music and the arts, Irish studies, civilization courses for pupils of European languages, visual and media education, communication skills, amongst many areas of the curriculum.
Most schools that offer transition year programmes organize some form of local work experience which is then monitored by personnel in the work situation as well as from the school.
Part of the work of the transition year is developing appropriate forms of pupil evaluation. Prior to the Leaving Certificate Examination the majority of schools organize formal pre-leaving examinations.
The Department of Education and Science does not provide formal certification on completion of the transition year programme.
However, schools continue to develop appropriate forms of certification to suit their pupils.Senior cycle students must take at least five subjects from a wider list than that offered to junior cycle students and one of the five must be Irish. The list is divided into five groups: languages (ten subjects), sciences (six subjects), business studies (four subjects), applied sciences (eight subjects), and social studies (six subjects). While it is officially recommended that each student should take at least three subjects from one group and two from outside the group, for various reasons this is rarely observed in practice.
Students normally sit the examination at the age of 17 or 18, after five to six years of post-primary education. This examination is used for a variety of purposes; for example, as an entry qualification for a range of third-level institutions, including the universities and as a selection test for entry to many kinds of employment. This variety of use makes the Leaving Certificate a dominant influence upon much of the work of second-level schools, affecting curriculum, methodology, assessment and organization.
However, two alternative Leaving Certificates have been developed; the LCVP (since 1989) and the LCAP.
In 2003, over 53,000 students took the Leaving Certificate examination.The LCVP is the normal Leaving Certificate Programme with a concentration on technical subjects and some additions. In 1994, it was expanded to broaden the choice of subjects and to strengthen the vocational content of the programme by including three link modules on enterprise education, preparation for work, and work experience. LCVP students receive the same certificate as other Leaving Certificate students but their Certificate includes an additional statement of the results of the link modules (pass, merit or distinction). LCVP students have the same opportunity to proceed to universities and colleges as the student of the established Leaving Certificate.The LCAP is a self-contained, two-year programme replacing and expanding on the existing Senior Certificate and Vocational Preparation and Training (VPT) Programme. It is a person-centered programme involving a cross-curricular approach rather than a subject-based structure.
It has as its primary objective the preparation of participants for adult and working life through relevant learning experiences. Unlike the two other leaving certificate programmes, the LCAP is cross-curricular and has a different form of assessment. The LCAP is intended to meet the needs of those students who either chose not to opt for other leaving certificate programmes or who are not adequately catered to by other programmes. While certification in the LCAP is not a qualification for direct entry to higher education, students who successfully complete the programme are able to proceed to many post-leaving certificate vocational and training courses. As well as the courses provided in third-level institutions, a wide range of vocational education and training courses are offered at the post-secondary level. The new system of apprenticeship training provides alternating on-the-job training in conjunction with off-the-job training in Training Centres and Institutes of Technology.
On successful completion of training an apprentice receives the National Craft Certificate awarded by the Further Education and Training Awards Council. Traineeships combine workplace training with formal off-the-job tuition in a Training Centre which is conducted by experienced and professional trainers. Traineeships vary in duration from six to twenty-four months, depending on the scope of the curriculum, the skills requirement of the occupation and the entry level of the trainees.Assessing learning achievement nationwideThe Government has agreed in 2001 to the establishment of an Examinations Commission as a body independent of the Department to which responsibility for the administration of the certificate examinations will be transferred. The State Examinations Commission was established by statutory order in March 2003 and assumed responsibility for the operation of the State Certificate Examinations from the Department of Education and Science from 2003 onwards.



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