Dáil Éireann - Volume 603 - 14 June, 2005
Written Answers. - State Examinations.
Mr. Deasy Mr. Deasy
131. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of leaving certificate students who gain exemptions from the need to take the Irish examination; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19746/05]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin:In the 2004-05 school year 2,951 leaving certificate pupils have gained an exemption from the study of Irish. The number of pupils exempt from the study of Irish fluctuates annually depending on pupils applying who meet the criteria as set down by my Department.
My Department has issued guidelines in relation to the granting of exemptions from the study of Irish to primary and post-primary schools.
 My Department’s guidelines in relation to an exemption from Irish at post-primary level are outlined at rule 46 of the Rules and Programmes for Secondary Schools and circular letter M10/94.
Under the terms of this circular, my Department has delegated authority to the principals of second level schools to grant the exemptions provided that the pupil meets the criteria as set down.
Exemptions may be granted by school authorities for pupils whose primary education up to 11 years of age was received in Northern Ireland or outside Ireland; pupils who were previously enrolled as recognised pupils in a primary school or second level school who are being re-enrolled after a period spent abroad, provided that at least three years have elapsed since the previous enrolment in the State and the pupil is at least 11 years of age on re-enrolment; certain categories of pupils with special educational needs as set out in Circular M10/94; or pupils from abroad, who have no understanding of English, when enrolled.
Dáil Éireann 603 Written Answers. State Examinations.