Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (219)

Jonathan O'Brien


219. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills the proposed total contact hours in the new junior cycle courses; the current number of class contact hours in the versions being used at the moment, set out in tabular form. [24269/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

There are 167 days in the school year at second level, not counting examination days. This works out at a total of 935.2 hours of class contact time per school year.

It is left to the discretion of schools, as far as possible, to devise a junior cycle programme that incorporates different requirements and reflects the priorities of the school and its students. It would not be accurate to compare in tabular form the class contact hours for specific subjects, as very few subjects currently have specified time requirements. For those subjects which do have a time allocation, it is often only a recommended time, rather than a requirement.

It is also important to note that the time allocations which are specified for the new Junior Cycle are only baseline figures, and not specified requirements. Each school has the flexibility to provide many different interpretations of the Framework – the number of subjects, time above the minimum allocated to some or all subjects, the number of short courses and other learning experiences. Options chosen will be unique to each school and, in many instances, will be tailored to meet the educational needs of each student.