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Wednesday, 19th June 2019

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Important Survey on Irish Exemptions - consultation date extended.

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Record level of public interest in consultation on exemptions from Irish in schools -

consultation period extended until Friday 18th January 2019.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D., has announced that record numbers of submissions from the public have been received to the consultation on exemptions from the study of Irish in schools via the online survey by the week before Christmas.

Launched by the Minister on 7 December 2018, the consultation is seeking views on the way students can apply to be exempted from the study of Irish in schools.  Research published by the Department’s Inspectorate last year showed that the current rules, which date back to the 1990s, were not working and were not aligned with the current arrangements for granting additional resources to children with special educational needs in schools.

As part of the consultation, Minister McHugh published new draft arrangements and the consultation is seeking views from the public on these proposals.  The proposals and survey are available at

“The online survey is designed to be easily accessible and enable members of the public to submit their views on the proposed changes in a convenient and simple way,” said Minister McHugh.  The survey asks respondents to indicate whether they ‘Strongly agree’, ‘Agree’, ‘Disagree’, or ‘Strongly disagree’ with several key aspects of the proposals and it includes an option to provide additional written comments.

“I will use the outcomes of the survey to amend and finalise the arrangements for exemptions, so I would encourage students, parents, teachers and everyone interested in the language to take part. Clearly, it will take a number of weeks to analyse the data and comments that we are receiving, but I am determined to improve the current situation as soon as possible for the next school year,” said the Minister.


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