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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 382-406
 Header Item School Accommodation Provision
 Header Item Capitation Grants
 Header Item Technological Universities
 Header Item Multidenominational Schools
 Header Item Summer Works Scheme
 Header Item Minor Works Scheme
 Header Item School Catchment Areas
 Header Item Special Educational Needs Staff
 Header Item Multidenominational Schools
 Header Item Gaeltacht Policy
 Header Item Third Level Admissions Assistance
 Header Item Apprenticeship Programmes
 Header Item Oideachas Gaeilge
 Header Item Junior Cycle Reform

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 970 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 382-406

School Accommodation Provision

 382. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the measures he is taking to resolve the chronic shortage of primary school places in Skerries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24954/18]

 390. Deputy Darragh O'Brien Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the measures he is taking to resolve the chronic shortage of secondary school places in Skerries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24962/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 382 and 390 together.

In order to plan for school provision and analyse the relevant demographic data, my Department divides the country into 314 school planning areas. For school planning purposes Skerries is located in the Skerries school planning area.

As the Deputy will be aware, I announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022). This announcement follows nationwide demographic exercises carried out by my Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country and the 4-year horizon will enable increased lead-in times for planning and delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

In addition to the new schools announced, there will be a need for further school accommodation in other areas in the future. Based on the current analysis, this need can be addressed through either planned capacity increases in existing schools or additional accommodation or extensions to existing schools. Approximately 40% of school places are delivered by extending existing schools, rather than by building new schools.

I have highlighted that the requirement for new schools will be kept under on-going review and in particular would have regard for the increased roll-out of housing provision as outlined in Project Ireland 2040..

Question No. 383 answered with Question No. 381.

Question No. 384 answered with Question No. 377.

Question No. 385 answered with Question No. 378.

Question No. 386 answered with Question No. 380.

Question No. 387 answered with Question No. 379.

Questions Nos. 388 and 389 answered with Question No. 381.

Question No. 390 answered with Question No. 382.

Capitation Grants

 391. Deputy Bobby Aylward Information on Bobby Aylward Zoom on Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the position regarding an increase to the school capitation grant to primary schools in counties Carlow and Kilkenny; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24968/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I recognise the need to improve capitation funding for all schools, including primary schools in Counties Carlow and Kilkenny, having regard to the reductions that were necessary over recent years.

Restoring capitation funding as resources permit is one of the actions included in the Action Plan for Education.

Budget 2018 marked the second year of major reinvestment in the education sector, as we continue to implement the Action Plan for Education, which has the central aim to make the Irish Education and Training service the best in Europe within a decade. In 2018, the budget for the Department of Education increased by €554 million to over €10 billion. Through budget 2017 and Budget 2018, we are now investing €1 billion more in education.

The process is underway for restoring grant funding that is used by schools to fund the salaries of ancillary staff. The ancillary grant was increased by €6 in 2016, €5 in 2017 and €5 in 2018, in order to enable primary schools to implement the arbitration salary increase for grant funded school secretaries and caretakers and to also implement the restoration of salary for cleaners arising from the unwinding of FEMPI legislation..

Technological Universities

 392. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the position on the planned technological university for Munster; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [24969/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton It is a matter for the relevant Institutes of Technology in a consortium to lead on the progression of their plans to seek designation as a technological university. Currently, four such consortia are at different stages of development, dependent on their particular circumstances.

Together with the Tánaiste, the Minister of State for Higher Education met the Presidents and Chairs of Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee last month and was informed that both institutes are fully committed to the Munster Technological University (MTU) project and that substantial progress is being made. In this context the MTU project management office is fully operational and meets weekly with regular updates being presented to both governing bodies. The MTU business case and revised economic impact study are nearing completion.

It is understood to currently be the intention of the MTU consortium to submit an application for TU designation under the Technological Universities Act later this year..

Multidenominational Schools

 393. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the rationale for considering a school (details supplied) as a candidate school for public consultation as part of the multidenominational and non-denominational schools consultation plan 2018; if requests were made to include the school on this list; the timeframe for this process; the procedures involved in determining the view of the parents and broader school community; if this process will delay the project of delivering a new school building for the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [24989/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As the Deputy will be aware, in January, 2017, I announced new plans aimed at providing more multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices of parents, families and school communities and the Programme for Government commitment of reaching 400 such schools by 2030.

For clarity, this new Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process is entirely separate to the delivery of projects for any particular school in a survey area and will not affect the school building project to which the Deputy refers.

The Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process involves the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) in the initial phase, as the State’s local education authorities, identifying areas where there is likely to be demand for greater diversity and working with their local City/County Childcare Committees to establish evidence of this demand among the cohort of pre-school parents.

As part of this process, surveys of the parents of pre-school children commenced from 24th May 2018 in 16 areas across the country - one pilot has been identified by each of the 16 ETBs – including the area in which the school referred to by the Deputy is located.

As part of this survey process, a list of primary schools (including details such as the school’s name, location, patron, language and enrolment numbers) which are considered as serving the area/town that is being surveyed, is included on the survey instrument for information purposes only for parents.

ETBs will analyse the survey results and determine the extent of demand for multi-denominational or non-denominational education in each area. This will form the basis of discussions with the majority patron (the Catholic Bishop in most cases) concerning the transfer of patronage of an existing school to meet that demand. Each ETB will then draw up a comprehensive report on the position in relation to each of the 16 pilot areas for submission to the Department of Education and Skills, which will subsequently publish the reports.

It is planned that, following the publication of the reports, the Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process will move into the Implementation Phase, involving existing patrons consulting with their local school communities on accommodating the demand for diversity by transferring patronage of an existing school to a new multi-/non-denominational patron.

The new process supporting transfers of schools to multi-denominational patrons in response to the wishes of local families is based around principles of transparency and cooperation. Therefore, there will be a very substantial level of consultation of local communities in the process, both with the ETBs in the initial phase to establish evidence of demand by consulting pre-school parents and subsequently through the requirement for the existing patron to consult with local community and school interests in proposing to transfer patronage of an existing school to an alternative patron body. In that process, proposals from all prospective multi-denominational patrons that wish to be considered will be taken into account.

This process is entirely separate to the delivery of projects for any particular school in the survey area and will not affect the school building project to which the Deputy refers..

Summer Works Scheme

 394. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if his Department will be accepting new applications for the summer works scheme 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24999/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Summer Works Scheme (SWS) is a multi-annual Scheme. Over 1,650 schools, nearly 50% of schools, applied for inclusion under the current round of the scheme which reflects a very high demand.

  To date, almost €80 million has been approved under the current round of the Scheme, in respect of 635 school projects, 464 primary and 171 post-primary schools, for Gas, electrical upgrades, mechanical, sanitation and roof improvement works.. Details of the successful school applicants, are published on the Department's website www.education.ie.

  In relation to the Summer Works Scheme 2018, over €25 million will be spent on summer works projects in 2018. This expenditure will enable the remaining approved improvement works for 178 schools nationwide to be completed. These works will be carried out by the schools themselves on a devolved basis mainly over the summer months, so the disruption to students, teachers and other school staff will be kept to a minimum.

  Furthermore, the Department intends to engage with the relevant education partners in relation to giving schools a better lead-in period for planning and delivering projects under the summer works scheme from 2019 onwards. While the Summer Works Scheme is hugely successful in enabling small scale refurbishment works to be done on a devolved basis, the Department considers that the operation of the scheme could be improved by providing a better lead-in period for schools rather than in Quarter 2 as in previous years. This will also help ensure that works done under the Summer Works Scheme fit better with any wider refurbishment/energy retrofit plans that may be done at schools under the increased funding provided in the National Development Plan. The engagement with education partners will commence shortly and will assist in developing a better timeline for the planning and delivery of summer works projects for 2019 onwards.

Minor Works Scheme

 395. Deputy John Brassil Information on John Brassil Zoom on John Brassil asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will examine the minor works scheme with a view to providing the grant on an annual basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25002/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Minor Works Grant was introduced in 1997 and since then has issued to primary schools each school year with the exception of the 2012/2013 school year. The payment of the Minor Works Grant is not confined to any particular date and can be issued during any month of the school year. For the 2002/2003 school year, part of the grant was paid in May 2003, with the balance in October 2003. The grant in respect of the 2017/2018 school year issued in December 2017.

It is intended that the Minor Works Grant in respect of the 2018/2019 school year will issue no later than January 2019.

My Department recognises the importance of the Minor Works Grant to primary schools. The National Development Plan 2018-2027 signals a gradual ramping up in capital expenditure in the schools sector over the coming years. In that context, and as part of our longer term infrastructural planning, my Department would intend to put the Minor Works Grant on an annual footing and to provide greater certainty to schools on the timing of payments..

School Catchment Areas

 396. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the catchment area for the new Educate Together school in Harold's Cross, Dublin 6; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that children living on the opposite side of the road are not included; if the catchment area will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25008/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As the Deputy will be aware, in November 2016, I announced the patronage of a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2018 to serve the Dublin South City Centre area. This new school, which will be a co-educational, multi-denominational school under the patronage of Educate Together, will serve the Dublin 8_ school planning area, along with the Dublin 2_Dublin 4 and Dublin 6_Clonskeagh school planning areas as a regional solution.

More recently, in April 2018, I announced plans for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including new post-primary schools for areas adjacent to Dublin 8 and Dublin 12 as follows:

- new 1,000 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2020 as a regional solution to serve the Dublin 6_Clonskeagh and Dublin_6W school planning areas.

- new 600 pupil post-primary school to be established in 2021 to serve the Dublin 2_Dublin 4 school planning area.

These new schools will further reduce pressure on schools in the adjacent school planning areas, including the Dublin 8 and 12 areas. A patronage process, which will be open to all patron bodies, will be run by my Department to decide who will operate these schools..

Special Educational Needs Staff

 397. Deputy Kathleen Funchion Information on Kathleen Funchion Zoom on Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to increase funding for SNA provision in a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25010/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is responsible for allocating a quantum of Special Needs Assistant (SNA) support for each school annually taking into account the assessed care needs of children qualifying for SNA support enrolled in the school.

  The NCSE allocates SNA support to schools in accordance with the criteria set out in Department Circular 0030/2014, which is available on the Department's website at www.education.ie, in order that students who have care needs can access SNA support as and when it is needed.

  In considering applications for SNA support for individual pupils, the NCSE take account of the pupils' needs and consider the resources available to the school to identify whether additionality is needed or whether the school might reasonably be expected to meet the needs of the pupils from its current level of resources.

  SNAs are not allocated to individual children but to schools as a school based resource.

  SNA allocations to all schools can change from year to year as children with care needs leave the school, as new children with care needs enrol in a school and as children develop more independent living skills and their care needs diminish over time.

  My Department’s policy is to ensure that every child who is assessed as needing SNA support will receive access to such support. In line with this policy, I announced last month that 800 additional SNAs will be allocated for the beginning of the next school year, with a further 140 expected to be allocated by the end of the year.

  By the end of this year, there will be a total of 15,000 Special Needs Assistants working in our schools, a 42% increase on 2011.

  The NCSE Appeals Process may be invoked by a parent or a school where it is considered that a child was not granted access to SNA support on the grounds that Department policy was not met in accordance with Circular 0030/2014.

  Schools may also appeal a decision, where the school considers that the NCSE, in applying Department policy, has not allocated the appropriate level of SNA support to the school to meet the special educational and/or care needs of the children concerned.

  I understand an appeal from the school in question has not been received by the NCSE to date.

  Where a school has received its allocation of SNA support for 2018/19, but wishes new enrolments or assessments to be considered, which were not taken into account when the initial allocation was made, they may continue to make applications to the NCSE. The closing date for receipt of any appeals in regard to SNA allocations is Friday, 28th September 2018.

  As this question relates to a particular school, I have referred the question to the NCSE for their direct reply.

Multidenominational Schools

 398. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the stage plans are at for the proposed location and timeframe in providing a new Educate Together school for Arklow, County Wicklow as previously announced under the process to bring about more diversity and inclusiveness in the primary school system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25094/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As the Deputy will be aware, I have announced new plans aimed at accelerating the provision of multi-denominational and non-denominational schools across the country, in line with the choices of parents, families and school communities and the Programme for Government commitment to reach 400 such schools by 2030.

I would point out that the previous model of patronage divestment yielded only a very limited number of schools for transfer to multi-denominational patrons (10 since 2013). I believe that the new schools reconfiguration for diversity process has the potential to significantly increase patron diversity in our school system.

While these new structures are being introduced, my Department will continue to work with the main stakeholders to progress delivery of diversity in areas already identified, including Arklow..

Gaeltacht Policy

 399. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the way the capacity of professional and administrative personnel within his Department including inspectors, psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and staff in school support services to deliver services through Irish in Gaeltacht schools has been increased in 2017 and to date 2018 as outlined in the Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022; the number of additional staff in each category that have been tasked to deliver services through Irish; and the costs which have been incurred from the promotion of such increased capacity. [25119/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton In 2017, the Gaeltacht Education Unit was established in my Department to oversee and support the implementation of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022. This Unit is staffed by a four-member team, all of whom can deliver a service through Irish. A team of 7 Inspectors, who have also been currently assigned to the Unit on the part-time basis, are providing advisory support through Irish to schools participating in the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme.

To support the implementation of the Policy, provision has also been made for 2 additional Education Officer posts in An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) who are delivering CPD through the medium of Irish to schools participating in the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme.

Primary and post-primary schools participating in the Gaeltacht School Recognition Scheme can also access additional part-time language support hours equivalent to 30 whole time equivalent (WTE) primary teachers and 10 WTE post-primary teachers from September 2018. Also, in September 2018, an additional teacher is being allocated to each of 2 post-primary schools under Forás, which is a pilot Irish-language development programme aimed at supporting certain junior-cycle students in their transition to Irish-medium education.

To work towards increasing the number of primary and post-primary teachers who can provide high quality Irish-medium education and enhancing existing capacity, a number of other initiatives have also been commenced to support the implementation of the Gaeltacht Policy. To date, these include provision for two additional teaching posts on the Professional Masters in Education at NUIG.

The implementation of the pre-pilot phase of an e-hub project is also at an advanced stage. The purpose of the e-Hub pilot project is to connect a number of small Irish-medium schools or Irish-medium units in Gaeltacht areas so as to extend the range of curricular choices in an online environment through the medium of Irish available to post-primary students, particularly at senior cycle, in these schools. An invitation to apply for two part-time e-Teacher posts of Leaving Certificate Higher-Level Physics to participate in this e-Hub Pilot Project has recently issued to Gaeltacht and all-Irish post-primary schools.

In budget 2018, the Government doubled the investment being made in Gaeltacht education. A budgetary allocation of €2.3m was provided for the implementation of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education in 2018.

To support the provision of a service through Irish by the Department of Education and Skills an Irish Information Line has been put in place. The number of staff assigned to answering the dedicated Irish Information Line has increased by 3 since April 2017.

The National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) currently employ 24 educational psychologists that are proficient in the Irish language. At the Schools Inspectorate Division at primary level there are 11 inspectors who have schools in Gaeltacht areas as part of their district. Inspectors at primary level have sufficient proficiency to evaluate the teaching and learning of Irish in primary schools. At post-primary level, the inspectors are in the main specialists in subject areas and post-primary inspectors also provides services to schools that teach the curriculum through Irish including Gaeltacht schools.

In both the Junior Cycle for Teachers support service (JCT) and the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) there has been an increase of 4 additional advisors in each of these two support services since January 2017 who have been tasked to deliver services through Irish.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) has 22 Visiting Teachers, 6 advisors, 1 Speech and Language Therapist, 1 Occupational Therapist, 2 Special Education Needs Organisers and 1 administrative staff member who specifically deliver services in Irish when required. The NCSE currently have a number of additional teaching staff seconded to them who are mainly primary school teachers who are proficient in Irish. This cohort of staff joined the NCSE in March 2017 as part of the transition of National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) and Special Education Support Service (SESS) services to the NCSE.

Questions relating to the provision of speech and language therapy through the HSE primary care service should be directed to the Minister for Health..

Third Level Admissions Assistance

 400. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton when a HEAR application will be granted to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25126/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton HEAR is a college and university admissions scheme offering places on reduced points and extra college support to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

  The HEAR scheme is operated by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and regulated by individual higher education institutions. My Department plays no role in the assessment and award of places under the scheme.

  The operational management of HEAR was transferred from the Shared Services Unit in the IUA to the Central Applications Office (CAO) in November 2016. Any queries in relation to admission through the HEAR scheme should be directed to the CAO at http://www.cao.ie.

  Further details on the various access routes is available at: http://www.cao.ie/index.php?page=accessroutes.

  Contact details in each of the participating colleges is available at: http://accesscollege.ie/hear/contact-a-hearhei/.

Apprenticeship Programmes

 401. Deputy Jackie Cahill Information on Jackie Cahill Zoom on Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if in the development of a healthcare assistance apprentice programme an organisation (details supplied) will be centrally involved in the development and implementation of it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25145/18]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy John Halligan): Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan A Healthcare Assistant apprenticeship is currently in development following the most recent call for proposals issued by the Apprenticeship Council. Each consortium submitting proposals for the development of an apprenticeship must ensure that there is a broad range of employer representation on the consortium along with education partners to enable the apprenticeship to be rolled out as a national programme. There is currently engagement between the Apprenticeship Council, the healthcare assistant consortium and key stakeholders to ensure the widest possible employer take-up of the apprenticeship..

Oideachas Gaeilge

 402. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Fergus O'Dowd Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd den Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton an dtabharfaidh sé freagra ar litir thíosluaite (sonraí tugtha); agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [25147/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Is féidir liom a dheimhniú go bhfuair m'oifig do chomhfhreagras agus mo leithscéal as an moill le freagra a chur chugat a tharla de bharr neamairt riaracháin.

  Is féidir liom a chur in iúl duit, áfach, go bhfuil na chéad fhiosruithe déanta ag oifigigh ó mo Roinn maidir leis an ábhar atá ardaithe agat sa chomhfhreagras a chuir tú agus beifear i dteagmháil leat go luath.

Junior Cycle Reform

 403. Deputy Kathleen Funchion Information on Kathleen Funchion Zoom on Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if provision has been made for students taking a junior certificate subject with a compulsory assessment component in which the subject is not offered within the student’s own school and is thus studied externally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25159/18]

 404. Deputy Kathleen Funchion Information on Kathleen Funchion Zoom on Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if provision has been made for the assessment of students in junior certificate music that are home schooled.  [25160/18]

 405. Deputy Kathleen Funchion Information on Kathleen Funchion Zoom on Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if provision has been made for assessment of students studying junior certificate music external to their own school. [25161/18]

 406. Deputy Kathleen Funchion Information on Kathleen Funchion Zoom on Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if guidelines have or will be released to education providers regarding the practical assessment of junior certificate subjects in which these subjects are studied externally to the students' school. [25162/18]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 403 to 406, inclusive, together.

The Junior Cycle Framework presents a dual approach to assessment that supports student learning over the three years of junior cycle and also measures achievement at the end of those three years. This dual approach reduces the focus on one externally assessed examination as a means of assessing students and increases the prominence given to classroom-based assessment and formative assessment, providing a more rounded assessment of the education of each young person. This change of emphasis arises from an acknowledgement that students learn best when teachers provide feedback that helps students to understand how their learning can be improved. As part of the phasing in of the new Framework for Junior Cycle the new Junior Cycle music specification will be introduced to schools from September 2018.

The Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) is a school based award issued by recognised schools which draws upon and reports on achievement across all elements of assessment including ongoing, formative assessment and Classroom-Based Assessments by teachers, as well as State Examinations marked by the State Examinations Commission. The assessment of a number of practical subjects including music for the purposes of the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) will comprise two Classroom-Based Assessments undertaken in recognised schools, a practical examination and a written examination.

Where students take extra subjects outside of their school setting these subjects cannot satisfy the requirements for ongoing, formative assessment by recognised schools and cannot, therefore, be included as part of the JCPA. Students who wish to study additional subjects, such as music, outside of their school have a number of other certification avenues open to them..


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