The Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) programme is one of a number of options made available by my Department for Senior Cycle students which schools can choose from, based on the education needs and interests of their students. The LCA programme is a two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life. The programme sets out to recognise the talents of all students and to provide opportunities for developing personal responsibility, self-esteem and self-knowledge, and to help students apply what they learn to the real world.
It is the responsibility and choice of each individual school to decide to put in place the LCA programme, based on the educational needs and interests of their students. It is also for schools to decide on the admittance of a student to the programme in their school. Schools are encouraged to provide maximum access to these options and to have clear procedures in place regarding how the available places are allocated to students.
A grant in respect of the LCA is paid annually to post-primary schools offering the programme in June of each year. It is paid to schools for the pupils enrolled in both year one and year two of the programme. The rate is €151 per pupil in accordance with Circular letter 0029/2016 which can be accessed on the Department's website.
In addition to the funding provided, schools that choose to organise the LCA programme are entitled to an additional fixed allocation of 0.5 of a teaching post, over the standard allocation. There is no minimum number of LCA pupils required for schools to secure the additional teaching allocation from my Department.
My Department is committed to supporting this programme, which is appropriate for members of the student cohort whose needs, aptitudes and learning styles are not fully catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes (Leaving Cert Established and Leaving Cert Vocational Programme). That is why I have asked the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to consider the LCA, as part of its review of Senior Cycle which commenced in 2017. This review will help to ensure curriculum development continues to respond to the changing needs of learners, society and the economy.