Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice



Last update: 27 November 2023
On this page



The Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools

Ancillary Staff

Referring to school staff providing non-teaching services - e.g. secretarial and caretaking work.


Autistic Spectrum Disorders


Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland


Association of Teachers' Education Centres in Ireland

Bachelor degree        

Degree awarded on successful completion of under-graduate degree course.


The Board of Management governs the school on behalf of the patron and for the benefit of students. It includes representatives of parents, teachers, trustees or patron, the principal and the community.


Breaking the Cycle is a project which seeks to discriminate positively in favour of schools in selected urban and rural areas which have high concentrations of children who are at risk of not reaching their potential in the education system.


Capitation grants are paid to primary and post primary schools to assist with general running costs. They are based on the number of recognised pupils enrolled in the schools.


Central Applications Office. This centre processes applications from school leavers to first year undergraduate courses.

Children Detention Schools   

A school at which a child can be ordered to be detained by a court.


Contract of Indefinite Duration. If a person holds a position for 4 years or more in a temporary capacity under the Protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work) Act 2003, s/he is entitled to a Contract of Indefinite Duration (CID).

Community School     

Community schools are managed by Boards of Management representative of local interests. These schools offer a broad curriculum embracing both practical and academic subjects.

Comprehensive School          

Comprehensive schools combine academic and vocational subjects.


Referring to schools attended by both sexes.

Cost Neutral Early Retirement          

Retirement option that allows personnel to retire early with immediate payment of superannuation benefits.


Continuing Personal Development


Catholic Primary School Management Association

Croke Park     

Refers to the changes proposed by the Department and the education sector to achieve efficiencies and savings under the Croke Park Agreement.


Set of subjects, programmes and activities delivered by a school.

Data Protection          

Data protection is concerned with the protection of your fundamental right to privacy, and your right to exercise control over how your personal information is used.

Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) Action Plan for Educational Inclusion

Policy instrument to address educational disadvantage.

Denominational School          

Refers to school managed by religious bodies.


Refers to the delegation of responsibility to school/college e.g. in relation to a construction project.

Disadvantage (Educational)   

Impediments to education due to social or economic disadvantage which prevent students from deriving appropriate benefit from education in schools.

EPV (Extra Personal Vacation)           

Leave available to teachers to attend summer courses.


Education and Training Boards established in 2013 to replace VECs as statutory education authorities with responsibility for education and training, youth work and a range of other statutory functions.


Refers particularly to sanction granted to opt-out of studying Irish at primary or post-primary level in certain limited circumstances.


Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) is the statutory awarding body for further education and training in Ireland. Replaced in 2012 by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).    

Further Education

Education and training which occurs after second level schooling but which is not part of the third level system.


Primary school(s) providing instruction through the medium of Irish only.


Post-primary school providing instruction through the medium of Irish only.


A person who has completed some form of course or training - particular in relation to a recipient of a college/university degree.


Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory planning and policy development body for higher education and research in Ireland.


Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) is the qualifications awarding body for third-level education and training institutions outside the university sector (other than the Dublin Institute of Technology). Replaced in 2012 by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

Higher Education       

Refers to education delivered by third level (tertiary) bodies such as universities, colleges and Institutes of Technology.

Home Tuition

This scheme consists of a grant to parents or guardians to engage a tutor to provide tuition to their child at home where a child is not attending school due to specific reasons.


Health Service Executive


Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) is a scheme set up to increase the link between home and school. It encourages parents to become more involved in their children's education and organises local activities to encourage greater contact between parents, teachers and local groups.


Point of staged increase on salary scale.

Incremental Credit    

Credit obtained for previous service which will enable applicant to move up salary scale.


Irish National Teachers' Organisation


Irish Primary Principals' Network


Institute of Technology


Irish Vocational Education Association


Joint Managerial Body for Secondary Schools, Ireland

July Education/Provision        

This scheme provides funding for an extended school year for children with a severe or profound general learning disability or children with autism.

Junior Certificate       

The Junior Certificate examination is taken after three years of post-primary education.


Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) similar to the traditional Leaving Certificate Programme, but with a concentration on technical subjects and some additional modules which have a vocational focus.


Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) is intended to meet the needs of those students who are not adequately catered for by other Leaving Certificate programmes. Person-centred course involving a cross-curricular approach rather than a subject-based structure.

Learning Support & Resource Teacher (LS/RT)         

A Learning support & Resource teacher (LS/RT) caters for children with learning delays or with a high-incidence disability such as mild general learning disability and dyslexia.

Leaving Certificate    

The traditional Leaving Certificate examination is the terminal examination of post-primary education.

Masters degree         

Awarded on successful completion of post-graduate degree course.

Multi-denominational School

Refers to schools which embraces multi-belief ethos.


National Association of Boards of Management in Special Education


National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals

National Council for Curriculum & Assessment        

Agency which leads development on curriculum and assessment.

National Council for Special Education (NCSE)         

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) was set up to improve education services for people, particularly children, with special needs arising from disabilities.

National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)  

Funded by the Department, this service is concerned with children's learning and behaviour and their social and emotional development. NEPS psychologists work with primary and post-primary schools.

National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB)           

Agency whose functions include dealing with problems associated with school attendance and with children who are educated outside of school system.

National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

A system via which all qualifications (whether at a national or international level) may be measured and related to each other.

National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) 

Agency with responsibility for developing and maintaining the National Framework of Qualifications. Irish centre for the recognition of international qualifications (Qualifications Recognition - Ireland). Replaced in 2012 by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

National School          

See Primary School

National University of Ireland (NUI)  

A federal university with nine academic and vocational campuses across Ireland.

Non-denominational School  

Refers to secular schools which are not aligned to any religion.

Notional Service         

Scheme allowing the purchase of additional pensionable service.


National Parents Council - Primary


National Parents Council - Post-Primary

Patron (school)           

In general, the patron of a school can be an individual or a group and represents the owners of the school. The patron may manage the school personally or may appoint a person or group, such as a Board of Management, to act as manager.


Post Leaving Certificate course.


Referring to studies which takes place after first university degree, or student who undertakes same.

Post-Primary/Second-level School     

School where child undergoes second compulsory stage of education. Post-primary education consists of a 3 year Junior Cycle, followed by a 2/3 year Senior Cycle. A Transition Year (TY) may be included as part of a Senior Cycle.


Public Private Partnership

Primary/ National School      

School where child completes first compulsory stage of education.


QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) is an independent State agency responsible for promoting quality and accountability in education and training services in Ireland.

Resource Teacher (RT)          

A resource teacher (RT) helps schools to support children with low-incidence special needs arising from disability


Used in relation to the retention of students in the educational system.

School Completion Project    

Programme aimed at assisting young people to stay in primary and second-level education.


The State Examinations Commission is the agency responsible for delivering and assessing State Examinations (post-primary level).


See Special Education Support Service


Temporary assignment of a teacher to a vacant position in an external organisation where the work to be carried out by the seconded teacher is of clear benefit to the educational system and/or is in the public interest.

Section 29 Appeal      

Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 allows parents, and students who have reached the age of 18, to appeal certain decisions made by a school's Board of Management. Appeals may be made about a decision to expel, suspend (for more than 20 school days in any one school year) or refuse to enrol a student.


Special Educational Needs.


Special Education Needs Organiser (SENOs) are appointed by the NCSE to provide a direct local service to the parents of children with special educational needs and to schools within geographical areas. This involves identifying the needs of children and deciding on the level of resources schools required.


The role of the Special Education Support Service (SESS) is to enhance the quality of learning and teaching in relation to special educational provision.


Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) care for pupils with disabilities or certain medical conditions in school.

Social Inclusion          

Referring to collection of measures to combat disadvantage.

Special Needs

Referring to specialist education requirements of children who face physical, mental or developmental challenges.

Special School

Refers to school catering to pupils with severe physical and mental disabilities and behavioural problems.


Social, Personal and Health Education - strand of primary and post-primary curricula.

Standardisation of the School Year    

Refers to the standardisation of schools breaks at Christmas, Easter and mid-terms.

Transition Year (TY)   

Optional year which may be included as part of Senior Cycle at post-primary level. Allows students to experience a wide range of educational inputs, including work experience. Not exam-based.

Trustee (school)         

The Trustees are the persons nominated by the Patron as trustees of the school. They undertake that the buildings shall continue to be used as a school for the term of the lease and guarantee that the Board of Management shall properly insure the premises and the contents.


Teachers' Union of Ireland


A student at a college or university who has yet to obtain a degree, or in reference to studies which such a student would undertake.


Vocational Education Committee (VECs) were statutory education authorities which have responsibility for vocational educational training, youth work and a range of other statutory functions, now Education and Training Boards.


Visiting Teacher for the Hearing & Visually Impaired Provides advice and support to ensure that the needs of children and young peoples with hearing and visual impairments are met.

Vocational School      

Vocational schools are state-established second level schools which are administered by Vocational Education Committees (VECs).

Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)  

Second chance education and training programme which provides courses of up to two years for unemployed people.

Voluntary Secondary School  

Voluntary Secondary schools are privately owned and managed, usually by religious bodies.

Whole School Evaluation (WSE)        

WSEs are inspections carried out on primary and post-primary schools. Reports of these inspections are posted on the Department's website.


Inter-departmental initiative for early school leavers.