A number of education groups have issued a joint statement after the Government's decision to postpone the Leaving Cert examinations and cancel the Junior Cert.
The Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, (ACCS), Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI), Joint Managerial Body (JMB) and National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) said they "appreciate the clarity brought by today’s announcement regarding the state examinations."
The groups said that this decision "brings certainty for students at this difficult time as they continue to prepare for their Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Exams."
In a further statement, the group said that this "is a vitally important time for students to remain connected with their schools and their teachers, and we would encourage all students to do so and their parents to support them in this regard."
The Minister for Education Joe McHugh announced the Government's decision on the state exams at a press conference today.
Today I have taken a series of decisions in relation to schools and the state exams.— Joe McHugh (@McHughJoeTD) April 10, 2020
There is no perfect solution. But I believe this is the fairest decision we could take.
We are planning in the best interests of our students and their families.#coronavirus #COVID19 https://t.co/o0aeUWxvBG
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."
Meanwhile, the Irish Universities Association also said they welcome "clarity on revised plans for Leaving Certificate examinations."
The group said: "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."