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Leaving Certificate Exams Postponed, Junior Cert Cancelled

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 10/04/2020. Leaving Certificate Exams Postponed, Junior Cert CancelledTags: Parenting Teachers

The Minister has announced this afternoon that his years Leaving Certificate examinations have been postponed until late July or early August.

Details as to this year’s Leaving Certificate timetable will be confirmed in early June, The deadline for submission of Leaving Certificate practical and other projects, in subjects such has History, Geography, Art, PE and Construction, has also been rescheduled  Practical exams will be rescheduled for late July or early August also.

The Junior Certificate exams have bee cancelled and will be will be replaced by school based assessments and school exams early in the coming academic year. Discussions as to the logistical details and timing of school based Junior Cycle exams will take place with the teacher unions and school managers.

The Minister also advised that schools will remain closed until further notice

Full Press Release below:

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Friday 10 April 2020) announced a series of changes to the 2020 State Examinations as part of measures to respond to Covid-19, including postponement of the Leaving Certificate examinations.
The decisions have been taken on foot of updated advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
Minister McHugh said plans were being put in place for the postponed Leaving Certificate examinations to begin in the last week of July or early August, subject to public health advice.
Junior Cycle final examinations due to take place in June will be replaced by school-based exams and assessments held early in the new school year.
A series of other decisions has also been taken –
·         As part of the wider public health measures, schools are closed until further notice.
·         Practical examinations for Leaving Certificate students which were due to have been held in May are deferred. They will be rescheduled for late July/early August.
·         The new Leaving Certificate exam timetable will be confirmed in early June.
Minister McHugh said: “All decisions we are taking in relation to rescheduling exams are based on current public health advice and put the best interests of students first. The welfare of students and that of their families is front and centre in all decision making.
“The final arrangements for the exams, the exam centres, social distancing and other measures will all be determined by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) on foot of public health advice in June. I want to thank the SEC for its efforts to put in place these revised arrangements.
“Students and their families have been seeking clarity. Today’s announcement addresses that. It also provides them with several weeks’ of advance notice to prepare for the examinations. I hope it helps to alleviate some stress being experienced by students and their families at this time.
“Asking Leaving Certificate students and their families to refocus their attention from June to August is not something we do lightly. I know it will not be easy. However, I believe it is the fairest way of assessing students and giving them certification of achievement in school and a pathway to higher and further education and training, apprenticeship or work.”
Minister McHugh also said: “Students with special educational needs will be fully supported in sitting the rescheduled Leaving Certificate examinations in line with the reasonable accommodations as already arranged for them.”
Minister McHugh said the intention was to allow at least two weeks of class time, in school, before the Leaving Certificate examinations begin.
“Great work is being done by schools and teachers to connect with students and to keep them learning. We must give teachers, principals and school staff huge credit for their commitment to supporting students, in their schoolwork and in their wellbeing. And we want to provide students and teachers with an opportunity to build on that,” the Minister said.
As part of the changes to the Junior Cycle, discussions will take place with teacher unions and school management to allow these examinations, linked Classroom-Based Assessments, Assessment Tasks and project work to be completed as school-based assessments early in the next school year.
Minister McHugh acknowledged the positive engagement he has had with unions, management bodies, the further education and training and higher education sectors on all of these issues.
“I am grateful for the co-operation shown by all concerned, in what is a very challenging situation for our young people, their families and teachers. I am confident we can continue to work together in a supportive spirit to help secure the best outcomes for students,” the Minister said.
Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said “The third level institutions look forward to welcoming this year’s Leaving Certificate students who have applied to enter their courses. I appreciate the particular challenges these students have had to face and I welcome the flexible approach indicated by the sector to enabling these students to take up a place in the year ahead.”
The admissions process for higher education, managed by the Central Applications Office (CAO), will operate as closely as possible to the usual timeframe for offers and the entry date for first year students will be delayed.
The Department has asked the Higher Education Authority and the higher education sector to explore ways of assisting access to higher education for students from under-represented groups.

School closures
-          Schools were closed on public health grounds at 6pm 12th March and remain closed until further notice
-          Students have lost 15 classroom instruction days to date since the closure of schools.
Leaving Certificate statistics
-          More than 61,000 students are expected to sit the Leaving Certificate or Leaving Certificate Applied in 2020
-          This includes 44,396 students sitting the established Leaving Certificate and 13,668 for the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and 2,999 sitting the Leaving Certificate Applied.
Orals and Practicals
-          Leaving Certificate oral language and some Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle practical performance examinations had been scheduled to take place between 23rd March and 3rd April.
-          These were cancelled and candidates awarded 100% for these components.
-          Today’s announcement does not change that position.
Practical projects and Course Work
-          A range of subjects involve these elements – Computer Science, PE Performance, Technology, Art, Agricultural Science, Agricultural Economics, History, Geography, RE, Politics and Society, Music Composition, Construction Studies and Home Economics (Textiles).
-          The deadline for submission of work will now be immediately prior to the commencement of the written examinations in the late July/August period.
Practical examinations
-          A number of practical examinations, supervised by school appointed superintendents and scheduled for 27 April to 8 May in Engineering, Art Life Sketching and Construction Studies and a practical and written examination in Computer Science scheduled for 27 May will now take place in the late July/August period.
Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) and LCVP Link Modules
The Leaving Certificate Applied is a distinct, self-contained two-year Leaving Certificate programme aimed at preparing students for adult and working life.
LCVP is a Leaving Certificate programme with a Strong Vocational focus. It may be taken alongside other subjects.
-          LCA Personal Reflection Task, scheduled for completion by 1 May, will now be completed by the commencement of the written examinations in the late July/August period.
The following will be rescheduled for the late July/August period:
-          LCA oral examinations
-          LCA practical performance tests in Hotel Catering & Tourism; Office Administration and Customer Care; Active Leisure Studies; Hair & Beauty; and Agriculture/Horticulture.
-          LCA ICT practical performance and written examination.
-          LCVP Link modules written examination.



(10/04/2020 16:49)

ASTI Statement 10/4/2020
Unions to consider implications of rescheduling Leaving Cert exams

We fully understand the decision to defer the State examinations, and we welcome the fact that the Government is still focused on running the Leaving Certificate, given both its importance and the high level of public trust that it enjoys.

We remain committed to serving the best interests of students, as evidenced by the wholehearted engagement of teachers with remote teaching and learning over recent weeks.

We are conscious of the enormity of the challenges facing our society now, and we are appreciative of the work done by all concerned to meet these challenges.

The executive committees of the two Unions will meet remotely this evening to see how best to proceed, and we will not be making further comment until after these meetings have taken place.


(10/04/2020 16:50)

Irish Universities Association welcomes clarity on revised plans for Leaving Certificate examinations

10.04.20 The Irish Universities Association (IUA) welcomes the announcement of the revised plans for holding this year’s Leaving Certificate examinations and the clarity this brings for students, their families and their schools.

Our universities will now work with the CAO and other stakeholders to ensure that new university students can begin their studies as soon as possible after the publication of the 2020 Leaving Certificate results. This work and all planning for the 2020-21 academic year will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.

We wish all of the students every success and we look forward to welcoming those who choose our universities as the next stage of their education in a brighter post-Covid crisis context.


(12/04/2020 10:50)

ISSU Response to State Examinations Decision

The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union , as the national representative body for second-level students, acknowledges the recent announcement regarding the 2020 State Examinations by the Minister for Education and Skills. While some clarity has come with the confirmation that exams will not continue as normal in June, the ISSU is concerned that the proposals put forward have not yet been ironed out, and that student welfare needs to be adequately considered in the proposal. We recognise the difficulty and work involved in making such decisions is monumental at this time however we feel that there are a number of factors still needing clarification before this contingency plan is implemented.

The ISSU’s Survey results, released on April 3rd and including the views of over 46,000 students, showed clearly that postponement of exams was not the preferred option of students, with just 9% of Junior Cycle and 19% of Leaving Cert students opting for it as a first preference. Among the reasons supplied for this low favourability were the unparalleled additions of stress and anxiety on students, discrepancies in the quality assurance of educational supports, and the infeasibility of matching this calendar to students wishing to progress with their education abroad.

The ISSU is seriously concerned about the effects this decision will have on students’ mental health and wellbeing. No additional supports have been announced as of yet to help exam year students navigate through this extension of examinations.We are hopeful that the Department will take this as a top priority to implement a programme to support all stakeholders through this stressful and uncertain time.

This decision leaves many questions unanswered regarding exam dates, project deadlines and the value of unfinished continuous assessment in any final grade. The amount of face to face class time before exams cannot yet be defined due to the nature of HSE guideline announcements, and the provision in place for Junior Cycle exams leaves questions about how the 2020/21 year will progress for LCA and continuing 5th year students.

The ISSU is disappointed that the student voice was not sufficiently consulted before this decision was finalised, despite students being the stakeholder most affected and being highly engaged over the last number of weeks. Many questions still remain to be answered, and the ISSU wishes to work with the Department and other stakeholders to ensure these are answered clearly with student health and welfare at the heart of the decisions.

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