I wish to advise the Deputy that last week I announced the deferral of the introduction of the new minimum entry requirements for primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students starting a Professional Master of Education (PME) from 2019 to 2020.
This deferral applies to students who have commenced an undergraduate degree (as distinct from a Bachelor of Education degree) and are planning to apply for the (postgraduate) PME for entry in September 2019.
The new minimum entry requirements are the appropriate standard but the original timing of their introduction may have caused difficulties for some students planning on undertaking a PME as an entry route to primary teaching.
The new minimum entry requirements were approved following detailed consultation and it is important that they continue to remain as the new higher standards in order to maintain the integrity of Initial Teacher Education and to support quality teaching and learning in primary schools. 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 higher minimum entry requirements, announced in October 2017, will continue to apply from September 2019 for students planning on entering the undergraduate Bachelor of Education (Primary) programme.