Cut to Leaving Cert Applied criticised


IN THE latest education cutback, the Department of Education is not filling the vacant post of national co-ordinator of the Leaving Certificate Applied.

The move has been sharply criticised by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland, which said it may be motivated by “academic snobbery’’.

First examined in 1995, the Applied Leaving is designed for less academic pupils. It has been widely praised for its role in helping to keep students in school and preparing them for the workplace.

Almost 380 schools or centres provide the programme, but 30 schools dropped it this year after the removal of the preferential pupil-teacher ratio and some support grants.

Under the department’s move, one person will take overall responsibility for co-ordinating both the Leaving Certificate Applied and Transition Year programmes.

Last night, the department confirmed the plan. It said it proposed to continue to provide for service in the Leaving Certificate Applied area, with the co-ordination of activities taken over by other personnel.