Exemption from studying the Irish language is available to certain pupils with disabilities at primary and secondary level.

Information about primary school is outlined in Circular 12/96 Revision of Circular 18/79 on Exemption from the Study of Irish and for secondary school in Circular M10/94.

Only students with a disability who fit the criteria outlined below will be given an exemption;

  • Students whose primary education up to 11 years of age was received in Northern Ireland or outside Ireland
  • Students who were enrolled in a primary or post-primary school and who are now enrolling again after having been abroad. The student must have been abroad for at least three years. The student must be at least 11 years of age when re-enrolling.
  • Students who function at an average or above-average level of ability, but who have a specific learning difficulty that is so severe that they cannot reach expected levels of attainment in their mother tongue.
  • Students who have a general learning disability due to a serious intellectual impairment and who are not acquiring basic language skills in their mother tongue.
  • Students who have a general learning disability on account of a serious sensory impairment, and who are not learning basic language skills in their mother tongue.

Where the exemption is sought on the grounds of a disability, the parent or guardian must supply reports from a qualified psychologist or from an appropriate medical specialist.

 

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