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Consultations over development of new LC subject

Organisations and individuals have until 5 April to contribute to consultations on the development of a new Leaving Certificate subject which aims to allow students to develop their knowledge of climate science, of the damage and loss caused by climate change, and of ways in which the impact can be mitigated or adapted to.

It is intended that ‘Climate Action and Sustainable Development’ be introduced as a subject in a small number of schools from September of 2025 before its wider introduction across the system.

Schools were this week invited to apply to be among the first to offer the subject.

A draft specification has been published by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and observations can be made via their website until 5 April.

According to the draft outline the subject encourages students to examine their own role as global citizens, “exploring the systems which govern decision making, the drivers of global poverty and environmental injustice”.

It states that the overarching aim of the subject is “to develop students’ capacity for informed and meaningful action for a just and sustainable world”.

This includes developing critical thinking skills and making informed decisions based on scientific evidence.

Inviting schools to apply to provide the new subject Minister for Education Norma Foley said: “We have all seen in recent years how school students have engaged with and led actions to address climate change.

“As always, it is our responsibility to nurture and encourage our students to continue to contribute to solutions designed to protect our world.”

A second new subject – Drama, Theatre, and Film Studies – is also under development and its draft specification is also currently part of a consultative process.

The Department of Education has said that around 40 schools will be able to offer the subjects as part of the first phase of their implementation.

Both subjects will be assessed using a combination of approaches including a minimum of 40% of marks to be awarded outside of the traditional written examination process.

But it will be at least 2028 and more likely 2029 before the small number of first students of these new subjects will conclude their studies.

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