AEN Policy

While The Dublin Academy of Education does not have a dedicated Resource Department, we can provide advice and guidance to students with additional educational needs. Assistance can be provided when making applications to NUI (National University of Ireland), the CAO (Central Applications Office) and the SEC (State Examinations Commission) in relation to language exemptions, RACE and DARE (explained below), respectively.

It is the responsibility of students/parents to make any additional educational needs known to the school in order for any application to be made and submitted on time.

It is also the responsibility of the students/parents to make sure all professional, psychological, medical and learning reports are current (i.e. in date), and in line with the criteria set out.

The Dublin Academy of Education does not carry out any medical or psychological testing of students.


Generally speaking, any student applying to an NUI (National University of Ireland) institution who was born and completed their education to date in the Republic of Ireland must present Irish (achieving at least an O6 at Ordinary Level) for Matriculation purposes. 

Students not born in the Republic of Ireland or educated for an extended period outside Ireland may apply to the NUI for an exemption from the Irish language requirement. 

Students with specific learning difficulties affecting language acquisition (dyslexia) may also apply for exemption from Irish.


Students with specific learning difficulties affecting language acquisition (dyslexia) may apply for exemption from the Third Language requirement.


The scheme of RACE facilitates access to the certificate examinations by candidates who would have difficulty in accessing the examination or communicating what they know to an examiner because of a physical, visual, hearing and/or learning difficulty. The scheme assists candidates who have additional educational needs to demonstrate what they know and can do in certificate examinations, without compromising the integrity of the assessment. The focus of the scheme is on removing barriers to access, while retaining the need to assess the same underlying skills and competencies as are assessed for all other candidates, and to apply the same standards of achievement as apply to all other candidates. The scheme provides accommodations for students with a variety of complex additional educational needs including learning difficulties as well as permanent or temporary physical, visual, hearing, medical, sensory, emotional, behavioural or other conditions.


DARE is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education. DARE offers reduced points places to school leavers who, as a result of having a disability, have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education. Disabilities include; Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (including Asperger’s Syndrome), Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) – Dyspraxia, Mental Health Condition, Neurological Condition (including Brain Injury and Epilepsy), Physical Disability, Significant Ongoing Illness, Speech and Language Communication Disorder, Specific Learning Difficulty (including Dyslexia and Dyscalculia).