The Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) programme is one of a number of options, alongside the Leaving Certificate Established and the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, that are made available by my Department for Senior Cycle students which schools can choose from, based on the education needs and interests of their student body.
It is the responsibility and choice of each individual school to decide to put in place the LCA programme. It is also for schools to decide on the admittance of a student to a Leaving Certificate programme in their school. Schools are encouraged to provide maximum access to these options and to have clear procedures in place, to be advised to students and parents, regarding how the available places are allocated to students.
My Department does not have the authority to instruct schools to follow a particular course of direction with regard to individual complaints. However, my Department, together with school management authorities and teacher unions have agreed a standardised complaints procedure. Details of steps that can be taken by parents are outlined on my Department’s website at: https://www.education.ie/en/Parents/Information/Complaints-Bullying-Child-Protection-Discrimination/Parental-Complaints.html.
The Leaving Certificate Applied programme is being considered by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, along with all other elements of Senior Cycle, as part of its review of Senior Cycle which commenced in 2017. This review will help to ensure that curriculum development continues to respond to the changing needs of learners, society and the economy.