New ‘Politics and Society’ Subject for Leaving Cert Students

In education news, ‘Politics and Society’ will be rolled out as a new optional Leaving Certificate subject for students in September 2016.

The new subject will have four main strands of study:

  1. Power and decision-making;
  2. Active citizenship;
  3. Human rights and responsibilities; and
  4. Globalisation and localisation.

Politics and Society will build on the knowledge gained by students in the Junior Cycle’s CSPE subject and encourage them to develop perspectives on democracy, society and active citizenship.

We’re delighted to see that there will be a dedicated section on human rights where students will focus on their right to education, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, our Constitution and also the work we do here at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Welcoming this development, Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, said: “This is a very exciting development. The new Politics and Society curriculum will ensure that our young people have the opportunity to explore how politics affects communities on a national and international level. It will focus on the part that all of us, as active citizens, can play in debating, reforming and changing the world we live in.

“As the recent marriage equality referendum demonstrated, young people are very politically engaged. They want to grasp the opportunity to shape their future and this new Leaving Certificate subject will provide them with an understanding of how power works in a democratic society and how they can play an active and engaged role in public debate.”

Politics and Society is designed to be taught in 180 hours, or a double-class period each week and will be offered at higher and ordinary level, with a written exam accounting for the majority (80 per cent) of points. It will also involve a citizenship project undertaken by individual students, which will attract 20 per cent of final marks.