Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Irish Language

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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206. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding a child (details supplied) in County Cork qualifying for an exemption from Irish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2795/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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Circulars 0052/2019 (Primary) and 0053/2019 (Post-primary) outline the exceptional circumstances under which a school may grant an exemption from the study of Irish.

A special class is one that is designated and resourced by the NCSE - . Pre-schools are not covered by these arrangements.

In line with other Department policies in the area of special educational needs, the circulars on the granting of exemptions from the study of Irish have moved away from a diagnostic categorical model to a needs-based model. Therefore a psychological/medical report is no longer a requirement and, while such a report may be available, it is not the primary supporting document for schools to consider when processing an application for granting an exemption from the study of Irish. While an external report might recommend an exemption, it is up to the school to decide if they the available evidence, (including ongoing support, response to intervention and current level of need as identified in school testing) is sufficient to meet the criteria for the granting of an exemption as set out in Section 2.2 of the relevant Circular.


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