Two days added to Leaving Cert schedule 'to ease pressure', Minister confirms

Minister for Education Joe McHugh

The Minister for Education has announced that two days have been added to the Leaving Cert schedule with a view minimising clashes and easing pressure on students.

While traditionally completed over 13 days, next year's State Exams are scheduled over a 15-day period.

Minister Joe McHugh said: “The State Examinations Commission has worked to determine what examinations should be moved from their traditional day in order to give students the best chance in their exams.

“I am confident that the small number of students who may have to sit three examinations in a single day will be significantly reduced as a result of these changes.

“The change is about trying to ease pressure. From talking to Leaving Cert students I hear how the exams play on their minds and any changes that we can make to ease that are really welcome."

The 2018 timetable had 35 curricular and 18 non-curricular language subjects timetabled during 26 examination sessions over a 13-day period. The new timetabling arrangements allow for 30 examination sessions over a 15-day period.

No exam has been scheduled for the afternoon of day 15 in the June 2019 timetable. From 2020, this session will be used to facilitate the placement of new examinations Physical Education and Computer Science into the curriculum in 2020.

Clive Byrne, Director the National Association of Principals and Deputy, welcomed the decision.

"We in the National Association of Principals and Deputy principals welcome the decision that the Minster for Education and Skills has, today announced that the Leaving Certificate examinations timetable is to be extended by two days.

"Although the Minister cites this as a measure for new scheduling options, this is an issue that we engaged extensively with the Department extensively on, in relation to reducing the unnecessary addition burden and stress on students.

Last year’s timetable put a huge additional pressure on students with some subjected to sitting three exams on one sitting day.

"This is a welcome move by the Department in terms of Leaving Certificate reform with students at the heart of it, and we are encouraged to see that a small step has been made in terms of wider necessary reforms."

The timetable for the Leaving Cert, starting on June 5, can be seen here

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