School's out for Limerick students as Leaving Cert exams are cancelled

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

School's out for Limerick students as Leaving Cert exams are cancelled

This year's Leaving Cert exams have been cancelled

THOUSANDS of students across Limerick are reacting to the announcement that this year’s Leaving Certificate exams will not proceed as planned.

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has confirmed that all students are to be offered the option of receiving Calculated Grades for the subjects they are studying and the alternative of sitting the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations at a date in the future when it is considered safe to hold the examinations.

At a media briefing at Government Buildings, the minister confirmed that based on public health advice it would not be possible to stage the exams at the end of of July as hoped.

More than 2,000 students in Limerick are affected by the decision.

“I have made every effort to run the 2020 Leaving Certificate as close as possible to the way the examinations were originally intended to be held. My desire had been to allow students to undertake the written and practical examinations in July and August but I have compelling evidence, based on medical advice and other assessments, that the Leaving Certificate examinations cannot be held in a reliable and valid manner, nor in a way that would be equitable for students,” said Minister McHugh.

“This decision is taken with the best interests of students at heart. I have a responsibility to find a fair way to address the disadvantage that some students are facing and the impact a lack of time in school has had in recent weeks. The system being put in place will allow a young person to progress to the next stage of their life in a timely fashion,” he added.

There Department of Education and Skills say are two main phases in the process of arriving at a calculated grade: School-based and national standardisation.

Both phases are underpinned by the principles of teacher professionalism, support for students, objectivity, fairness and equity, collaboration and timeliness.

In addition, and in the spirit of fairness to all Leaving Certificate students, the option of sitting the Leaving Certificate examinations when it becomes feasible to hold them remains open to all students.