Education: Getting Ireland Brexit Ready

The withdrawal from the EU of the UK will bring change to many aspects of Irish life.

Many of the arrangements in place regarding education relate to the Common Travel Area with the UK. Where this is the case, no changes to these arrangements are expected.

Further information on what is expected to change and what is expected to remain the same after Brexit is below. For more information on Brexit please see Gov.ie/brexit

Students in both the UK and Ireland regularly receive some or all of their education in either country. This is one of the features of the Common Travel Area that the UK and Ireland enjoy. You can read more about the Common Travel Area here.


Important information for your school community regarding Brexit

This notification is intended to give your school some information about the impacts of Brexit on our education system.


Practical Advice

Primary & Post-Primary Education that includes Cross Border Travel

Every day, children and young people from Ireland and the UK travel to school in either jurisdiction. This is a matter of choice for families, as to what works best for them, and this choice will continue to be facilitated under the Common Travel Area after the UK leaves the EU.


Higher Education

After Brexit, Irish students will continue to be able to study in the UK and UK students will be able to study in Ireland.

Applications:

For those wanting to study in the UK, applications for higher education places in the UK will continue to be made using current systems.

For those wanting to study in Ireland, the CAO and State Examinations Commission are working with UK counterparts to ensure smooth continuity of the applications process. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Fees:

Irish students will still be eligible for the same rate of fees as UK students in the UK. UK students will still be eligible for the same fee structures as EU students in Ireland.

Student Support:

Each year, about 1,500 students from Ireland studying in the UK and circa 200 UK citizens studying in the State, qualify for Irish Government grant support (SUSI). After Brexit, the usual SUSI grant rules will continue to apply for UK and Irish students.

The Irish Government is introducing legislation to ensure that these arrangements can continue to apply to eligible Irish students studying in the UK, as well as the payment of SUSI grants to UK students in Irish higher education institutions.


Further Education

Further education training and opportunities will continue to be available to students and trainees from Ireland going to the UK and vice versa under the Common Travel Area.


Erasmus+

The EU’s Erasmus+ 2014-2020 programme provides funding for a range of international education and training projects, including student and staff mobility and exchanges, job shadowing, teaching assignments, and strategic partnerships between organisations.

The programme will continue to operate fully for Ireland and the EU Member States. The future participation of the UK in the Erasmus+ Programme is being considered in the context of the overall negotiations between the EU and the UK.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the EU has prepared legislation which will come into effect automatically to ensure that students who are currently ‘on Erasmus’ in UK institutions will be permitted to complete their placement without interruption. This also applies to UK and NI students studying in EU Member States.


Recognition of Professional Qualifications

Professional qualifications are specific requirements that a person needs to possess by law in order to access or pursue a regulated profession or to engage in regulated activities in a given country. Qualification requirements vary between professions.

Currently, there is EU legislation that allows Irish and UK citizens to have professional qualifications gained in either jurisdiction recognised.

After Brexit, there may be implications for individuals working in Ireland or another EU member state who obtained a professional qualification or licence to practice in the UK. The Government has encouraged regulatory authorities in Ireland to engage with their counterparts in the UK to manage the process for the recognition of qualifications after Brexit.

The recognition of professional qualifications framework between the EU and the UK is a matter to be considered in the context of the overall agreement between the EU and the UK on Brexit.

If you have a query about your professional qualification you should contact the relevant regulatory body for your profession.

For information about recognition of teaching qualifications gained outside of Ireland, or entry to post-graduate teaching courses, please see the website of The Teaching Council.

 

Important information for your school community regarding Brexit

Introduction This notification is intended to give your school some information about the impacts of Brexit on our education system.

The withdrawal from the EU of the UK will bring change to many aspects of Irish life.

While ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement is still the Government’s preferred outcome, a series of Government initiatives is underway, both nationally and in conjunction with the EU, in preparation for the possibility that the UK fails to agree a deal for their departure from the EU on 31st October.

Many of the arrangements in place between the UK and Ireland regarding education relate to the Common Travel Area (CTA) with the UK.

Common Travel Area Every day, pupils and young people from Ireland and the UK travel to school in either jurisdiction. This is a matter of choice for families, as to what works best for them, and this choice will continue to be facilitated under the CTA after the UK leaves the EU. There is no need for any additional actions on the part of school authorities.

In May 2019, the Irish and UK Governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the CTA, which notes, among other issues that: “the CTA affords Irish and British citizens the right of access to all levels of education and training, and associated student support in each other’s State on terms no less favourable than those for citizens of that State.”

Further information on the CTA is available from the Government of Ireland website at: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a7ba02-brexit-info/

The CTA also provides clarity for those pupils who are seeking to pursue their higher education in the UK. Irish students will still to be eligible for the same rate of fees as British students in the UK. The usual SUSI grant rules will continue to apply Irish students in the UK.

The Central Applications Office and State Examinations Commission are working with UK counterparts to ensure smooth continuity of the applications process. Further information will be provided by those bodies as it becomes available.

Teacher Staff and Qualifications Under the CTA, UK citizens have the right to work in Ireland without any additional requirements such as visas or work permits.

In terms of qualifications, teaching qualifications from EU Member States are covered under the EU Directives on Professional Qualifications. Once the UK exits from the EU, the Directive will not apply to them. However, The Teaching Council will continue to recognise UK teaching qualifications for the purposes of registration.

All appointments should continue to be made in accordance with Departmental Circular 0044/2019.

For information about recognition of teaching qualifications gained outside of Ireland, or entry to post-graduate teaching courses, please visit the website of The Teaching Council at www.teachingcouncil.ie

Erasmus The EU’s Erasmus+ 2014-2020 programme provides funding for a range of international education and training projects, including student and staff mobility and exchanges, job shadowing, teaching assignments, and strategic partnerships between organisations. The EU has decided that students on existing mobilities at the date of Brexit will be permitted to complete their exchange and continue to be funded to do so.

In the event of a No Deal exit, the programme will continue to operate fully for Ireland and the EU Member States, and schools’ participation in future Strategic Partnerships under this programme must be framed accordingly. The UK will be no longer eligible to participate in the programme.

More detailed information is available from the EU Commission’s website at https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/about/brexit

Data Protection and GDPR In the event of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit, the UK will become what is known as a ‘third country’, and the European Commission has clarified that it will be some time before an adequacy decision will be made for the UK. Therefore, data on pupils or school staff should not be transferred to the UK unless appropriate safeguards are in place. This includes the use of school applications such as learning applications, pupil/ staff records, finance applications, time-tabling instances where the data may be ‘hosted’ in the UK.

Further information on this is available from Data Protection Commission’s website at https://www.dataprotection.ie/en/news-media/podcasts/know-your-data-brexit-and-dataprotection

Conclusion The Department of Education and Skills will continue to provide information to support schools in the lead up to a No Deal Brexit and will provide updates as necessary. Further information on covering issues such as dealing with suppliers and on managing building projects that may be impacted by Brexit will follow at a later date.

Issued by the Department of Education and Skills, 8 October 2019.

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