Dáil Éireann - Volume 537 - 12 June, 2001
Written Answers. - School Placement.
Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin
539. Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will clarify recent media reports that children in national schools will not in future have the opportunity to repeat a school year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16666/01]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): A circular letter outlining my Department's policy in relation to the retention and promotion of pupils in primary schools issued to the boards of management of all schools recently. This policy was already outlined in Rule 64 of the Rules for National Schools and in a previous Department Circular 10/67. The circular (Primary Circular 11/01) reaffirms the policy in relation to the retention and promotion of pupils.
In recent years my Department has allocated considerable support to schools for pupils with learning difficulties. Learning support teachers, resource teachers, special needs assistants and a wide range of resources under the various schemes for schools in areas designated as disadvantaged are among the forms of additional support allocated to schools for these pupils. The level of provision now available should enable pupils to make progress in keeping with their needs and abilities and to move consecutively through the different class levels in the school, in keeping with their peers.
I am aware that there may be individual cases where a principal teacher, following consultation with the learning support teacher and class teacher and parents of the pupil, concludes that a pupil would benefit educationally by being allowed to repeat a school year. In such cases my Department would allow the retention provided there is an educational basis for it, and there is a clear programme for the pupil to follow.
Children should repeat a year for particular educational reasons only and an additional grade level should not be created through the retention in a grade level of all or a substantial number of pupils for a second year.
Dáil Éireann 537 Written Answers. School Placement.