Literacy and Numeracy

Funding available for Standardised Testing in English reading and Mathematics at Second Year of Post-Primary – November 2017

The critical importance of assessment to inform and support good teaching and learning is widely recognised. Enriching teaching and learning with new curricula and new assessment methods is a key objective of the Action Plan for Education. Under the Interim Review of the National Strategy on Literacy and Numeracy (2011-2020), the Report of which was published on 14 March 2017, the introduction of mandatory standardised testing at post-primary has been deferred. This means that mandatory standardised testing at post-primary will not be implemented for the present time. However, schools may take advantage of standardised tests which are available, to add to their knowledge of a child’s achievement.

The first online Irish-normed standardised tests available in English reading and Mathematics, at post-primary, were recently launched by the Educational Research Centre. These are available through the Drumcondra Online Testing System. The tests are curriculum-linked achievement tests for the end of second year, and gauge how well different aspects of the curriculum have been absorbed by students. The tests are linked to the Junior Cycle curriculum and can provide teachers with immediate feedback that can inform teaching and learning in a practical way.

In May 2017, in order to promote engagement with newly developed online standardised tests in English reading and Mathematics for second year at post-primary, funding of some €40,000 was made available by the Department for a once-off scheme to provide subsidised access to these tests.

The Department is pleased to announce that an additional €60,000 has been made available for further testing under this scheme. This funding will extend the opportunity to benefit from the scheme to schools that did not avail of these tests in the initial grant call in May 2017. The funding will be available to schools on a first-come first-served basis to support full cohort standardised testing in English reading and Mathematics of their current second year students.

Schools that are successful in applying for this scheme will be granted credits to take the test on condition that the schools will carry out the testing as soon as possible in a timely fashion thereafter.

This call for applications is now closed. All available subsidised tests have been allocated.

Schools who wish to avail of standardised tests with this funding should complete the application form at www.erc.ie/ApplyForFreeTests or contact dots@erc.ie for more information.