Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (51)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

51. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way many leaving certificate students received an exemption from Irish from 2008 to 2012; the number of those students who studied another language other than Irish and English; the stage at which the review of the 12/96 circular announced in 2006 is at; and the efforts made by his Department between 2008 and 2012 to reduce the number of students receiving an exemption from Irish. [11754/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The information requested by the Deputy on students for the Leaving Certificate receiving an exemption from the study of Irish in the years 2008 to 2012 is contained in the following table. For the years 2008 to 2012, the granting of exemptions from the study of Irish at post-primary was provided for in limited circumstances as per the exemption criteria in departmental circular M10/94. This continues to be the position. Under the circular the authority to grant an exemption has been delegated to school authorities. An exemption may only be granted where the student's circumstances comply with the exemption criteria. While work has previously been done in relation to revising the exemptions circular, the issues involved are complex and it is clear that we need to gather more detailed evidence on the manner in which exemptions are sought and granted before issuing a revised circular. As announced towards the end of 2012, my Department will carry out research with a view to comprehensively informing further policy actions in this area.

The number of Leaving Certificate* students in each school year from 2008/09 to 2012/13 receiving an exemption from the study of Irish by reason for exemption in accordance with the criteria in Departmental Circular M10/94

Schools year

Circumstances in which exemption from the study of Irish were granted

No of students granted an Exemption in each school year

No of students receiving exemptions which were also enrolled for at least one Modern European Language#

2012

Students from abroad who have no understanding of English when enrolled

1,182

770

2012

Students whose primary education up to 11 years of age was received in Northern Ireland or outside of Ireland

221

156

2012

Students with a learning disability as provided for in paragraph 1(c ) of the circular

578

321

2012

Students re-enrolling after a period of at least three years abroad

42

31

2012

Total in all categories

2,023

1,278

2011

Students from abroad who have no understanding of English when enrolled

1,109

704

2011

Students whose primary education up to 11 years of age was received in Northern Ireland or outside of Ireland

230

154

2011

Students with a learning disability as provided for in paragraph 1(c ) of the circular

660

379

2011

Students re-enrolling after a period of at least three years abroad

25

17

2011

Total in all categories

2,024

1,254

2010

Students from abroad who have no understanding of English when enrolled

1,675

735

2010

Students whose primary education up to 11 years of age was received in Northern Ireland or outside of Ireland

356

142

2010

Students with a learning disability as provided for in paragraph 1(c ) of the circular

1,153

246

2010

Students re-enrolling after a period of at least three years abroad

53

11

2010

Total in all categories

3,237

1,134

2009

Students from abroad who have no understanding of English when enrolled

1,689

895

2009

Students whose primary education up to 11 years of age was received in Northern Ireland or outside of Ireland

242

155

2009

Students with a learning disability as provided for in paragraph 1(c ) of the circular

533

260

2009

Students re-enrolling after a period of at least three years abroad

18

18

2009

Total in all categories

2,482

1,328

2008

Students from abroad who have no understanding of English when enrolled

1,939

772

2008

Students whose primary education up to 11 years of age was received in Northern Ireland or outside of Ireland

286

251

2008

Students with a learning disability as provided for in paragraph 1(c ) of the circular

442

271

2008

Students re-enrolling after a period of at least three years abroad

27

20

2008

Total in all categories

2,694

1,314

* Leaving Certificate includes student in years 1 and 2 of the established Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP),

Leaving Certificate Applied and those repeating the Leaving Certificate.

# Modern European Language refers to French, German, Spanish and Italian.

The data has been extracted from the October Returns of student enrolled as at the 30th September for each school year as provided by post-primary schools to the Department.