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All 3rd years to receive certs for the completion of Junior Cycle

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 29/04/2020. All 3rd years to receive certs for the completion of Junior CycleTags: Parenting Teachers Education And Politics

All third year Junior Cycle students to be awarded certificates for the completion of Junior Cycle by the Department of Education and Skills

-          Schools given autonomy to assess students and all students to receive a report on achievement 
-          Adult learners to be given opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations in autumn

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Wednesday 29 April 2020) announced revised arrangements for this year’s Junior Cycle.

The decision was taken following recommendations from an advisory group of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures and the decision that the Junior Cycle State Examinations will not run this year.

Minister McHugh attended the meeting of the advisory group and thanked the members for their work.

“In this difficult time for students I have listened to the very strongly-held and well-articulated views of students, parents and other stakeholders,” Minister McHugh said.
“This decision has been made with the health and wellbeing of students, parents and teachers at the forefront of our thinking.
“It gives students and their families more clarity and certainty. It also gives schools freedom to decide how best to assess the progress of students following three years of hard work and learning.”

Under the revised arrangements and in light of the exceptional circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the work and achievement of third year Junior Cycle students will be recognised with a state certificate from the Department of Education and Skills.

As soon as possible after the end of the current school year, students will receive a written school report on their learning achievements in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit

Schools are also being given autonomy to decide whether to run school-based assessments and what form they take. Options to consider include school-designed examinations, tasks, projects, assignments, essay style questions, presentations, or other tasks agreed at a local level. Guidance for schools on reporting to students and parents, developed with the advice of the advisory group of stakeholders, will be published by the Department.

The State Examinations Commission is also being asked to put in place specific arrangements for adult learners to give them an opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations for which they are entered in autumn 2020.


  • For info on the advisory group see here
  • Further advice in relation to assessment options for schools will be issued by the Department.
  • Certificate of Completion -This will issue from the Department early in the next school year. It will provide each student with a certificate confirming completion of the Junior Cycle programme of study, including the list of subjects, short courses and/or priority learning units studied and the level at which the subject was studied.
  • Adult Learners  -The SEC will put in place specific arrangements for adult learners who are studying a subject or subjects at Junior Cycle level within one academic year.
    The specific dates of the examinations in autumn 2020 will be determined as soon as possible.
    These examinations will only be available to students who meet the specific qualifying criteria.




    (29/04/2020 14:48)

    ASTI welcomes State Certification for students completing Junior Cycle

    The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, has today issued guidelines for schools regarding assessment and reporting on students’ learning at Junior Cycle in 2020.

    The ASTI welcomes the announcement that students will receive a State Certificate on completion of the Junior Cycle from the Department of Education and Skills. The ASTI had previously called on the Minister to award a State Certificate to this year’s Junior Cycle students.

    The guidelines have emerged following recommendations from the Advisory Group for Contingency Planning for State Examinations 2020.

    Today’s statement from the Department of Education and Skills confirms that all elements of the Junior Certificate are cancelled in 2020. It also makes clear for students that they will have completed their Junior Cycle at the end of May.

    ASTI President Deirdre Mac Donald has expressed regret that this year’s cohort of Junior Certificate students will not have the opportunity to sit the examinations as normal:

    “The experience of this examination has always been a valuable milestone in the educational experience of Irish students. However, having regard to all the circumstances, the guidelines being issued are the best that can be achieved this year.

    “The pressure of sitting examinations that would have enjoyed no credible status would have imposed unnecessary stress on these students whether they were held prior to the summer holidays or in the autumn.

    “We believe that the well-being of these students is best served by the freedom to enjoy the summer of 2020 without the pressure of examinations hanging over them.

    “I wish to again acknowledge the enormous efforts of teachers, students and school communities in ensuring continuity of teaching and learning during this pandemic.”

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