30 January, 2019 - Minister for Education and Skills and Minister for Higher Education announce deferral of introduction of new minimum entry requirements for Primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students starting a Professional Master of Education from 2019 to 2020

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today announced that changes to the minimum entry requirements for the Professional Master of Education (PME) for primary teaching will come in to place in September 2020.

This deferral will apply to students who have commenced an undergraduate degree (as distinct from a Bachelor of Education degree) and are planning to apply for the Professional Masters of Education (PME) for entry in September 2019.

Minister McHugh said: “The new minimum entry requirements are the appropriate standards but the original timing of their introduction may have caused difficulties for some students planning for a PME as a way to launch themselves into a primary teaching career.

“We are giving those students time and clarity on the new requirements. It is the right thing to do.

“The deferral means we are allowing students the opportunity to make arrangements to ensure they have the necessary entry requirements.

“The new requirements were approved following detailed consultation and it is important that they remain as the new higher standards.  They are designed to maintain the integrity of Initial Teacher Education and to support quality teaching and learning in primary schools. 

“Having relatively high minimum entry requirements in core subject areas of Irish, English and Mathematics is key to ensuring quality teaching and learning in primary schools.”

Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. said: “I am glad that the revised requirements for the Professional Master of Education (PME) for primary teaching will come into place for September 2020.

“We have listened to concerns of students and taken the right action.

“We are giving certainty to students who are already studying an undergraduate degree (as distinct from a Bachelor of Education degree) and are thinking about applying for the Professional Master of Education.

“We want to attract as many highly educated and bright people as possible to teaching and this change helps that cause.

“This post-graduate programme provides a valuable route of entry to primary school teaching for students from a wide range of disciplines. This variety of backgrounds in students’ undergraduate degrees contributes to the rich diversity of skills and talents among our teachers, which is of great benefit to the children in our classrooms.”

All applicants wishing to apply for Primary ITE programmes must meet the specific minimum entry requirements in Maths, English and Irish for entry to these programmes.

In October 2017, changes to the minimum entry requirements both for students entering the Bachelor of Education undergraduate programme and for students entering primary ITE through the PME were announced. These changes continue to apply from September 2019 for students planning on entering the Bachelor of Education who will still have to meet these new requirements. The announcement today relates only to students entering the PME.

Notes for Editors: 

Oral Irish Examination

Candidates are required to take the oral component of the Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) Meánleibhéal 1 (B1) Irish examination before they apply to their preferred institution(s) for the Professional Master of Education (PME).

The Irish oral examination will be administered by the Centre for Irish Language Research, Teaching and Testing in Maynooth University which is linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The Irish oral will commence February 2019 at venues throughout the country. More information, including examination guidelines, is available here: http://www.teg.ie/about-exams/teg-pme-primary-teaching.860.html 

Minimum Entry Requirements

In addition to the points required for entry to Bachelor of Education programmes of primary initial teacher education, the Department of Education and Skills specifies minimum entry requirements that students must meet 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.

The changes that were announced in October 2017 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 new Leaving Certificate grading system is detailed in the table below: 

TABLE 1 Minimum Entry Requirement for Primary Bachelor of Education

Year of College Entry

 2017 & 2018

 

 2019 onwards

 

Subject

Grade

%

Grade

%

Irish

H5

50<60

H4

60<70

English

O5

50<60

O4

60<70

or

or

 

H7

30<40

H7

30<40

Maths

O6

40<50

O4

60<70

or

or

 

H7

30<40

H7

30<40

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 2 Minimum Entry Requirement for Primary Professional Master of Education

Year of College Entry

 2017,2018 and 2019

 

 2020 onwards

 

Subject

Grade

%

Grade

%

Irish

H5

50<60

H4

60<70

English

O5

50<60

O4

60<70

or

or

 

H7

30<40

H7

30<40

Maths

O6

40<50

O4

60<70

or

or

 

H7

30<40

H7

30<40