Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Education and Skills
Ruairi Quinn (Minister, Department of Education and Skills; Dublin South East, Labour)
As part of both the primary and post-primary level school curriculum Irish is a compulsory subject. The programmes in Irish offered at both levels have the capacity to cater for a wide diversity of abilities.
Departmental circular M10/94 applies to post primary schools funded by my Department and sets out the exceptional circumstances where an exemption from the study of Irish may be granted to post primary pupils. Under the terms of this circular, delegated authority to grant exemptions from Irish, within the conditions laid down, is vested in school management.
At post-primary level French is not a compulsory subject for the Junior Certificate, traditional Leaving Certificate or Applied Leaving Certificate programmes. However as part of the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) a modern European language, such as French, is a requirement. A LCVP student may be exempted from the study of a modern European language where he/she already has an exemption from the study of Irish.
With regard to the particular case referred to by the Deputy, the position is that the studentâ€™s parents/guardians should make a written application to the management of the school in which the student is enrolled, clearly stating the grounds on which they are seeking an exemption from the study of Irish.