The annual primary census forms for the current school year are still being collected, checked, inputted and validated within my Department. Therefore, the information requested by the Deputy is not yet available for the 2003-04 school year.
Under my Department's policy which is set out in primary circular 32/03, pupils should only be allowed to repeat a year for educational reasons and in exceptional circumstances. An additional grade level should not operate through the retention of all or a substantial number of pupils at a grade level. In exceptional circumstances, there may be cases where a principal teacher, following consultation with the learning support teacher, class teacher and parents, will conclude that a pupil would benefit educationally by repeating a grade level. The normal capitation grant is applicable in respect of these students where the provisions of the circular are fully adhered to.
A school must not operate a repeat middle infants class or a repeat sixth-seventh class. Pupils who have completed sixth class must not transfer to another primary school to repeat sixth class. In the event that a school enrolls pupils in a repeat class, capitation grants in respect of such pupils shall not be paid.