Wednesday 18 October 2017

Explainer: Aspiring to be a primary school teacher? Here are the new grades you need to achieve

Students must get 60pc in LC Irish to be primary teacher

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Ryan Nugent

New entry level requirements for primary school teaching will insist on students achieving 60pc or higher in their higher level Irish Leaving Cert exam.

Here is everything you need to know:

When are the changes happening?

The changes will be introduced by the Department of Education for 2019 and 2020. The requirement changes will not affect students in the current Leaving Cert cycle.

What do the changes involve?

Students must now get 60pc or higher in Leaving Cert Higher Level Irish to be a primary teacher. There will also be a demand for higher grades for ordinary level English and maths. This is 10pc higher than the minimum requirement set out for students due to sit their Leaving Cert next year.

Anything else to note?

In addition to the points requirements by the third-level institutes, Leaving Cert students must also get a specific minimum grade in all three of the core subjects.

In both English and maths, students must now get upwards of 60pc in ordinary level.

The higher level requirements remain the same, however, with students needing a H7 - which is more than 30pc, in both subjects.

Ordinary level Irish is not sufficient to qualify for primary teaching.

Why is this happening now?

Speaking following the announcement, Education Minister Richard Bruton said the changes were introduced in order to equip teachers as best as possible for the challenges of 21st-century teaching.

The minister said the reforms come as part of the Action Plan for Education 2017 - which has the aim of making the Irish education and training system the best in Europe within a decade.

"We are very fortunate here in Ireland to attract excellent candidates into primary education teaching and the quality of Ireland's education system is recognised internationally, but to be the best we need to continuously improve," Mr Bruton said.

One of the objectives in the Action Plan for Education 2017 is to "develop the continuum of teacher education to equip teachers with the right skills for 21st-century teaching and learning and improve school leadership".

"The continued reform of initial teacher training and teacher induction, including the revision of entry criteria for initial teacher education, is one of a number of actions which were formulated to achieve this objective," he added.

Will there be more changes to come?

Yes. Further changes to the minimum entry level requirements will be considered from 2021 onwards and will be based around the experience of the current system, along with consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Irish Independent

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