The Transition Year is available to all second level schools but it is the board of management of each individual school that decides whether to offer the programme and if offered it decides on the number of places available to students on such programmes, depending on available resources. If offered, it also decides whether it is optional or compulsory for its students.
The Transition Year has many benefits for students in terms of experiencing a wide range of educational inputs and their personal and social development. However, research has found that it may not be suitable for all students. Retention to the end of senior cycle is our priority and some students may not wish to spend 3 years in senior cycle. Thus it is important that boards of management consider the choices that are available taking on board the educational needs of their students. My Department provides specific teaching resources and additional grant aid to schools that offer the Transition Year programme. An additional teacher allocation is given to each school offering the programme. Schools in the Free Education Scheme also qualify for payment of a Transition Year grant of €95 for each student participating in the programme.