Introduction to Senior Cycle Review

Senior Cycle Review

The review of senior cycle offers an opportunity to explore the learning experiences of senior cycle students and generate a shared vision for senior cycle and a strong base from which to shape a curriculum that genuinely meets the needs of all learners for years to come.

To date, the senior cycle review involved three phases: scoping; school review followed by national seminars; and a consultation phase.

Phase 1: scoping (2016-2017), identified key themes for exploration and established the process for conducting the review.

Phase 2: school-based review and national seminars (2018-2019), provided the opportunity to work with 41 schools nationwide to gather, analyse and discuss teacher, student and parent perspectives on senior cycle education. The school review took place over two cycles. Cycle one focused on the purpose of senior cycle education. Cycle two focused on pathways, programmes and flexibility. The feedback from schools in each cycle was analysed by the ESRI and presented at National Seminars for further discussion with a broader range of stakeholders. You can access a summary of the rich tapestry of thoughts and ideas which emerged from cycle 1 here, and we also invite you to read the ESRI’s full report on cycle one, the ESRI report on cycle two and the composite report on Student, teacher and parent perspectives on senior cycle education by the ESRI. A summary of phase two can be found in the Interim Report on the Senior Cycle review.

Phase 3: The emerging themes from the review were gathered in the Senior Cycle Review Consultation document. This document formed the basis of the public consultation  that took place between July and November 2019. A summary of the consultation is contained in the Public Consultation Report December 2019.

The next stage of the review is the generation of an advisory report. The report will comprise of the priority areas, longer-term goals and a proposed timeline and advice on the pace and scale for developments in senior cycle. This report will issue to the Minister for Education and Skills for consideration.


Keep up to date with the discussions and become involved in the conversation about senior cycle by following @NCCAie on twitter and

Diagram showing Senior Cycle Review stages from years 2016 to 2019 with linking arrows