Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Teacher Training

Darren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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303. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the entry requirements for professional masters in primary education are increasing in 2021; the rationale for this decision; the options for students who have completed the leaving certificate but do not have the required result in Irish or mathematics, for example; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11621/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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My Department made a decision in 2017, based on advice received from the Teaching Council, to set higher Minimum Entry Requirement Standards (MERS) to primary teaching for Leaving Certificate Mathematics, English and Irish with effect from September 2019.

The new MERS were approved following detailed consultation and are designed to maintain the integrity of Initial Teacher Education and to support quality teaching and learning in primary schools.

As the original timing of the higher MERS may have caused difficulties for some students planning on undertaking a Professional Masters of Education (PME) as an entry route to primary teaching, my Department made a decision in 2019 to defer the increased MERS for entry to the primary postgraduate route for an additional two years until September 2021. This deferral was to allow students the opportunity to make arrangements to ensure they have the necessary entry requirement for entry to the programme.

I am of the view that the new higher MERS, are the appropriate standards and will apply for entry to the PME programme in September 2021.

In the case of a student who does not meet the minimum entry requirement in Irish, English or Mathematics, it is open to the person to repeat the Leaving Certificate Examination or pursue a course of study leading to the one of the alternative qualifications in the subject(s) concerned as outlined in the published Entry Requirements and Procedures for 2020.

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