The 55,557 candidates awaiting grades from the State Examinations Commission (SEC) is almost 400 fewer than last year, and includes 1,267 people who returned to education through the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme, the Back to Education Initiative and other schemes.
Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe said it is a very proud day for all students, their parents and teachers, and he was delighted to see the large number of adults who continue to re-enter the education system.
“This has a tremendous effect on the personal lives of these individuals, as well as giving them an increased number of options for the future,” he said.
For nine bright students, their results include 11 higher level As and an A in civic, social and political education (CSPE) which is set at just one common level.
This compares with six students with the same results in 2008, while 92 candidates have been awarded 11 higher or common level As and 201 had one fewer.
Just over 20,000 student have received at least one higher or common level A, a decrease on last year, but in line with the 2.3% drop in overall Junior Certificate students.
Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland president Joe Moran said that, regardless of individual grades, it is an important milestone for all students.
“Every student has a unique set of talents, abilities, skills and interests and it is this uniqueness that we should celebrate today,” said Joe Moran.
Teachers’ Union of Ireland president Don Ryan said students should celebrate responsibly and urged those in the drinks trade to be particularly vigilant, while encouraging those who get their results toady to stay on and finish school. “In the current climate there is little chance of a student entering the workforce without at least completing the senior cycle so we urge them to stay on and complete the Leaving Certificate,” he said.
SEC chairman Richard Langford expressed hope that today’s results would help students make informed choices about their future.
As well as collecting them at school, students can access their results from the SEC website from 4.00pm today at www.examinations.ie using a personal identification number and their exam number previously issued to them.
Mr O’Keeffe also called for sensible celebrations.
“They should celebrate with their families and close friends and not put themselves or others at risk,” he said.