12 November, 2015 - New Leaving Certificate ‘Politics and Society’ course to begin in September 2016

A new Leaving Certificate course on Politics and Society will commence in schools next September according to Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD.

This week all schools will receive a detailed specification of the new course.  Schools will be invited to express an interest in offering the course to students next September.  It is envisaged that 25-30 schools will be included in this first phase, with the intention of the subject being available in all schools by September 2018.

“This is a very exciting development.  The new Politics and Society curriculum will ensure that our young people have the opportunity to explore how politics affects communities on a national and international level.  It will focus on the part that all of us, as active citizens, can play in debating, reforming and changing the world we live in. 

“As the recent marriage equality referendum demonstrated young people are very politically engaged.  They want to grasp the opportunity to shape their future and this new Leaving Certificate subject will provide them with an understanding of how power works in a democratic society and how they can play an active and engaged role in public debate.”

The new subject has four main strands of study:

  • Power and decision-making
  • Active citizenship
  • Human rights and responsibilities
  • Globalisation and localisation

Assessment for the new subject will see 80% of marks awarded for a final written exam, with 20% of marks awarded for a report on a citizenship project.  The new curriculum also highlights the role that portfolios and reflective journals play in assisting a student’s learning.

“I want to place on record my thanks to the NCCA for developing this new subject.  I also want to acknowledge the important role that students, teachers, parents and NGOs played in the consultation and in-depth research necessary to develop a modern, engaging curriculum. 

“I am particularly pleased that this new subject will be available in 2016.  The centenary of 1916 has already sparked a welcome reflection on power, justice and change in society.  This new subject will provide young students with the tools to contribute to such debates and to work on a local, national or global level to bring about the change they wish to see,” concluded Minister O’Sullivan.