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An Comhairle Náisiúnta Curaclaim agus Measúnachta
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

Level One and Level Two Programmes

A Level 2 Learning Programme will target the very specific group of students with general learning disabilities in the higher functioning moderate and low functioning mild categories.

 These students are small in number (one or two in a typical school, more in a special school) and all have student support plans. The Level 2 Learning Programme will be based around Priority Learning Units (PLUs).

The PLUs focus on developing the basic social, pre-vocational and life skills of the students involved. There are five Level 2 PLUs:

  • Communicating and literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Personal care
  • Living in a community
  • Preparing for work 

In the new Junior Cycle there will be two qualifications.

One, a replacement for the current Junior Certificate, will be aligned to Level 3 of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

The other, designed for students with particular special educational needs who currently can’t access the Junior Certificate, will be aligned to Level 2 of the NFQ.

The Level 2 Learning Programmes (L2LPs) and qualification are targeted at a very specific group of students who have general learning disabilities in the higher functioning moderate and low functioning mild categories. The students are small in number (one or two in a typical school) and all have Individual Education Plans (IEPs). The Learning Programmes are built around Priority Learning Units (PLUs) that develop the basic, social and pre-vocational skills of the students involved.

The L2LPs have been developed with schools already working with this group of students and the NCCA has drawn on this experience to produce a Toolkit on L2LPs for teachers. Part of the Toolkit is an optional e-planning tool to make planning L2LPs for students easier.

The Learning Programmes and qualification were introduced in schools in 2014. 

You can access the Level 2 LP Guidelines and Toolkit at this link:

Level 1 Learning Programmes (L1LP) will target the very specific group of students with general learning disabilities in the range of lower functioning moderate to severe and profound categories. The programme will be capable of personalisation to suit the individual needs of the target group of students.

These students are small in number and are almost exclusively in Special Schools. They all have student support plans and often have complex and multiple cognitive and functioning needs. Their learning tends to be targeted at a very early developmental level.

The students in question may experience difficulty understanding the world around them and their place in it. They may also have issues with expressive and receptive communication skills.

The Level 1 Learning Programmes are made up of six Priority Learning Units (PLUs) which explicitly identify and develop the key areas of learning needed to prepare the students for their future lives.

  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Personal Care and Wellbeing
  • Being part of a Community
  • Numeracy 
  • The Arts
  • Physical Education

Read the Background Paper and Brief for Level 1 Learning Programmes here.

Read the report of the consultation process here.

A draft of L1LP Guidelines will be made available to a small number of schools in September 2017 for trial. Please note that the list of schools for this trial project is already over-subscribed.