Secondary Schools in Ireland

This country profile is part of a collective effort by the network members to map matching practices across Europe. If you find it useful and want to refer to it in your own work, please refer to it as “ChenLi (2012), Matching Practices for Secondary Schools – IrelandMiP Country Profile 11.”

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In Ireland, secondary education (sometimes referred to as post-primary) caters students in the 12 to 18 years old group. Students start with the 3-year junior cycle study, followed by the 2-year senior cycle study. They can take an optional 1-year transitional study to bridge the two cycles, which leads to 5 years or 6 years in total for the secondary education.  An evaluation test takes place at the end of each of the two major cycles (i.e. junior and senior cycles). The results obtained on the Leaving Certificate Examinations at the end of senior cycle year are important criteria for admission at universities.

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Higher Education in Ireland

This country profile is part of a collective effort by the network members to map matching practices across Europe. If you find it useful and want to refer to it in your own work, please refer to it as “Chen, Li (2012), University admission practices – IrelandMiP Country Profile 8.”

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Education in Irelandis divided into primary education (6-12 years old), secondary education (12- 17/18 years old), further and higher education (>17/18 years old). The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) measures the knowledge and skills expected to be achieved at each level, making it easier to compare students’ qualification from different study tracks. The Department of Education and Skills (http://www.education.ie/) administers education policies at all levels, including aspects such as curriculum and syllabus, quality assurance and evaluation, as well as funding. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) acts as the advisory body to the Department of Education and Skills for policy planning and development related to higher education. In addition, it provides funding for the universities, institutes of technology, and a number of other institutions[1] (The university Act, 1997 [1], and The Institutes of Technology Act, 2006 [2]). The funding covers courses costs, research and capital/infrastructure investment. Most higher education providers are publicly funded, with the exception of a few private providers.[2]

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Elementary Schools in Ireland

This country profile is part of a collective effort by the network members to map matching practices across Europe. If you find it useful and want to refer to it in your own work, please refer to it as “ChenLi (2012), Matching Practices for Elementary Schools – IrelandMiP Country Profile 10.”

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The Department of Education and Skills administrates education policies at all levels, including the organization of schools, hours to be taught, curriculum etc. There are three types of primary schools: state-funded primary schools, special schools, and private primary schools, with most being state-funded. Schools’ curriculum must cover languages, mathematics, social environmental and scientific studies, arts, sports, social, personal and health education, and religion (see Primary School Curriculum, 1999). There is however variation along linguistic and religious lines. Students and parents can choose religious schools (with most being Roman Catholic), non-denominational schools, multi-denominational schools and Gaelscoileanna, which are schools offering curriculum in Irish. Although schools in Ireland have historically largely been influenced by the Catholic Church, recent changes have been made to accommodate diversity.

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