Minister Bruton announces changes to Minimum Entry Requirements for Primary Teacher Training Programmes
The Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D. has announced the minimum entry requirements for primary initial teacher education programmes for the 2018/2019 academic year.
In addition to the points required for entry to programmes of primary initial teacher education, the Department of Education and Skills specifies minimum entry requirements in the core subjects: Maths, English and Irish. This is to ensure that primary teachers have the capacity to lead learning in these vital areas.
Changes being announced today set higher minimum entry standards to programmes of primary initial teacher education programmes for Leaving Certificate Maths and English at Ordinary Level and Irish at Higher Level. The changes are as follows:
2019 & 2020
In line with the new policy to encourage wider participation in the more challenging Higher Level papers, a H7 (which is equivalent for points to an O3) will meet the minimum entry requirement for Maths and English.
In determining the entry requirements care was taken not to disadvantage those students who have already commenced the senior cycle and who intend sitting the Leaving Certificate examinations in 2018. The Minister also had regard to the Department’s policy “Supporting a Better Transition from Second Level to Higher Education – Implementation and Next Steps” (2015).
Minister Bruton stated: “We are very fortunate here in Ireland to attract excellent candidates into primary education teaching and the quality of Ireland’s education system is recognised internationally, but to be the best we need to continuously improve. Through the achievement of the actions set out in the Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education and training system the best in Europe within a decade, we aim to ensure that leadership, management, quality frameworks, teaching methods, and initial and continuing training are all operating to the highest standards across the continuum of education and training provision.
One of the objectives in the Action Plan for Education 2017 is to “develop the continuum of teacher education to equip teachers with the right skills for 21st century teaching and learning and improve school leadership”. The continued reform of initial teacher training and teacher induction, including the revision of entry criteria for initial teacher education, is one of a number of actions which were formulated to achieve this objective.”
Further changes to the minimum entry requirements from 2021 onwards will be considered in the light of experience, relevant policy developments and following consultation with relevant stakeholders.
It has also been decided that with regard to the minimum entry requirements for entry to primary initial teacher education programmes in 2017, a Leaving Certificate H7, which attracts the same CAO points as an O3, should be accepted as the minimum entry requirement for Maths and English. This is consistent with the decision on the entry requirements for 2018-20.
Decisions on the above have been communicated to the Universities and Colleges concerned and the Teaching Council.
Note for Editors
Supporting a Better Transition from Second Level to Higher Education – Implementation and Next Steps (2015)
Supporting a Better Transition from Second Level to Higher Education – Implementation and Next Steps sets out a package of reforms developed in partnership with stakeholders which are designed to improve the transition experience of students moving from second level to higher education.
Those reforms introduced a new grading scheme for the Leaving Certificate, a new relationship between Higher and Ordinary Levels and a revised Common Points Scale. They aim, inter alia, to encourage the take-up of Higher Level subjects at Leaving Certificate by awarding points to the new H7 grade (30-40%).
It was agreed that the Department, its agencies and relevant institutions would align relevant policies and processes so as to give broad effect to this policy from 2017. The new grading and points system were introduced for the first time for those students sitting the Leaving Certificate in 2017.