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.
In October 2017, changes were announced setting higher minimum entry standards to primary programmes of initial teacher education for Leaving Certificate Maths and English at Ordinary Level and Irish at Higher Level.
These minimum entry requirements apply in addition to the CAO points required (in the case of the Bachelor of Education) or the third level award requirement (in the case of the Professional Master of Education) for entry to programmes of primary Initial Teacher Education.
On 30th January, 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 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.
In summary, the minimum entry requirements required for students commencing Initial Teacher Education Programmes in 2019 and 2020 are as follows:
Entry 2019 (Professional Master of Education Route) - Irish: H5, English: H7/O5, Maths: H7/O6
Entry 2019 (Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) Route) - Irish: H4, English: H7/O4, Maths: H7/O4
Entry 2020 and beyond (PME and B. Ed Routes) - Irish: H4, English: H7/O4, Maths: H7/O4