The changes to the minimum entry requirements for entry to primary Initial Teacher Education programmes, as announced in October 2017, are as follows:
Entry 2018 - Irish: H5, English: H7/O5, Maths: H7/O6
Entry 2019 and beyond - Irish: H4, English: H7/O4, Maths: H7/O4.
(For information on the new Leaving Certificate Grading Scheme, see http://transition.ie/files/2015/Leaflet%20for%20Students%20-%20Revised%20Common%20Points%20Scale.pdf)
The changes introduced took account of advice provided by the Teaching Council, which had engaged in a consultation process around a number of matters relating to entry to initial teacher education. Many of the issues identified were complex and the Council commissioned the ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) to carry out research to inform its deliberations.
The changes also had regard to the Department’s policy “Supporting a Better Transition from Second Level to Higher Education – Implementation and Next Steps” (2015).
Having relatively high minimum entry requirements in core subject areas of Irish, English and Mathematics is one of the key policy levers that help ensure quality teaching and learning in primary schools. The 2011 Literacy and Numeracy Strategy and subsequent review identified the need to raise standards of achievement and included plans to raise the entry requirements in the core subjects over time.
In recognition of the fact that not all applicants will meet the minimum entry requirements in Irish, English and Maths at the first attempt, there is no requirement that these minimum grades be achieved in one sitting of the Leaving Cert. Furthermore, there are a number of alternative qualifications that can take the place of the relevant Leaving Cert grade. The list of alternative qualifications in the subject(s) concerned are outlined in the published Entry Requirements and Procedures for 2018 and available on my Department's website (see www.education.ie).
The Department has received a number of submissions regarding the changes which were introduced, which are currently under consideration.