Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Education Policy

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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66. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her strategy to improve access to the transition year programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23660/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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As the Deputy is aware, on 29 March I announced an ambitious programme of work for a reimagined Senior Cycle of education where the student is at the centre of their Senior Cycle experience.

In my announcement I set out a clear vision for Senior Cycle, building upon the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s (NCCA’s) Advisory Report. The NCCA’s review of senior cycle involved an extensive range of research, consultations and communications with a wide range of stakeholders.

The three tenets of Senior Cycle reform are to:

- Empower students to meet the challenges of the 21st century

- Enrich the student experience and build on what’s strong in our current system

- Embed well-being and reduce student stress levels

Transition Year is a valuable programme for students that offers opportunities for life skills, personal, social and academic development and experience of adult and working life. I am also of the view that Transition Year should continue as a stand-alone programme taken in fourth year.

Transition Year has a unique and important value in the life of students. Currently over seventy per cent of students avail of Transition Year.

On 29 March I announced that Transition Year should be available to every student who wishes to participate in the programme. This will be achieved by working with schools to ensure that schools who are constrained in the numbers they can currently accommodate in Transition Year are supported to expand the provision. I will work with my officials and my colleagues in Government to ensure that where additional resources for schools are needed to facilitate this they are provided.

On 29 March I also announced that a revised Transition Year programme statement will be developed through working with schools. This will be available from early 2024 and will help to ensure the delivery of a valuable Transition Year experience for students across all schools participating in the programme. This will include the provision of professional support to teachers and schools in terms of continuous professional development.

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