From time to time we are asked about the possibility of a student being allowed to 'give-up' Irish.
The Department of Education and Skills, in it's Rules and Programmes for Secondary Schools, clearly states that all students must study Mathematics, Irish and English while in secondary school.
There are very limtied circumstances under which a student can be exempted from the study of Irish and these circumstances are outlined in DES Circular 0053/ 2019. To access this circular, please click on the link below:
The above circular is supported by the document, Exemptions_from_the_Study_of_Irish:_Guidelines_for_Post_Primary_Schools.
The circular identifies that there are exceptional circumstances in which an exemption from the study of Irish may be granted.Section 2.2 of the circular states:
"Exemption from the study of Irish may be allowed in the following exceptional circumstances only:
a. students whose education up to 12 years of age (or up to and including the final year of their primary education) was received outside the State and where they did not have the opportunity to engage fully in the study of Irish
b. students who were previoulsy enrolled as recognised students in a primary or post-primary school who are being re-enrolled after a period spent abroad, provided that at least three consecutive years have elapsed since the previous enrolment in the State and are at least 12 years of age on re-enrolment
c. student who:
i) present with significant learning difficulties that are persistent despite having had access to a differentiated approach to language and literacy over tiem (Irish and, or, English). Documentary evidence to this effect, held by the school, should include Student Support Plans detailing
- regular reviews of learning needs as part of an ongoing cycle of assessment
- evidence-informed intervention and review, including test scores (word reading, reading comprehension, spelling, other scores of language/ literacy) at key points of review.
ii) at the time of the appication for exemption present with a Standardised Score on a discrete test in either Word Reading, Reading Comprehension or Spelling at/ below the 10th percentile.
Parents/ guardians who wish to apply for an Irish exemption on behalf of their child, should complete the form below and forward to The Principal, Community School, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. N41 VX63.
Prior to making an application, you are advised to speak with one of our Guidance Councellors so that you are fully aware of the implications of an exemption from the study of Irish for the student while in post-primary school and into the future. We also advise you to speak with our SEN Co-ordinator so that you are aware of your child's standardised score in a discrete test as outlined in 2.2.c.ii above (if applying under this criteria).
When the process is complete, the school Principal will write to the applicant to inform them of the outcome. Where the exemption is granted, a Certificate of Exemption will issue. Where an application is unsuccessful, this will be confirmed to the applicant in writing within 21 school days of receipt of the application. The applicant will be informed that the school's decision can be appealed to the Irish Exemptions Appeal Committee within 30 calendar days from the date of the decision of the school was notified to the parent(s)/ guardian(s)/ student. An Appeal Form will be included with this notification.