I have received correspondence on this issue, and I am prepared to meet a deputation of relevant interests to discuss the matter. Officials of my Department will be in touch with the correspondents to arrange a meeting as soon as possible, probably in late May or early June.
Dance is included in the strands in the Physical Education curriculum in primary and post primary schools. In addition, students may choose Dance as one of the courses available within the Arts component of the Leaving Certificate Applied programme (LCA). The LCA is taken by some 7% of the student cohort and a maximum of 4 credits from a total of 200 credits in the assessment of the LCA is available for the Dance component. The LCA does not provide for direct entry into higher education, but students may progress to Post Leaving Certificate courses and from there to higher education.
My Department is faced with an extensive range of competing needs for investment in education, ranging from addressing educational disadvantage, inclusion of pupils with special needs and newcomer students, meeting the demands of a growing population, strengthening the mathematical, science, and technology aspects of provision, enhancing the professional development of teachers, investing in research and development and promoting second chance learning. Within that context, investment in mainstreaming of dance education as a subject for points for the purpose of third level entry is not a priority at the current time.