Students and parents seek decision on Leaving Cert before the end of the month

Minister for Education Norma Foley said it remained the Government’s firm intention to hold a 'traditional' Leaving Cert in June
Students and parents seek decision on Leaving Cert before the end of the month

More than eight in 10 parents agree their child’s stress and anxiety levels have increased due to the uncertainty of the Leaving Cert exams. File picture.

A huge majority of Leaving Cert students and parents say the Department of Education should make a decision on whether this year's Leaving Cert will go ahead in its traditional format before the end of January.

New data shows that 87% of students say there needs to be a decision made whether the traditional Leaving Cert will be cancelled and replaced with predicted grades by the end of the month.

Last year’s Leaving Cert was ultimately cancelled and replaced with predicted grades. However, the final decision was not made until May 8, causing a huge source of uncertainty and stress for many students and parents.

Findings in a new survey show the majority of Leaving Cert students would like to be offered a choice of calculated grades or sitting the exams.

The current plan to hold the Leaving Cert exams in June attracted 4% support as a first preference, shows Irish Second-Level Students’ Union survey.

The survey, carried out by iReach, shows that more than eight in 10 parents agree their child’s stress and anxiety levels have increased due to the uncertainty of the Leaving Cert exams.

Other findings from the iReach survey that received responses from 1,000 students and parents, showed:

  • 75% of Leaving Cert parents think their children should be given the option to choose between sitting their exams in June or receiving predicated grades 
  • 56% of Leaving Cert parents say their children would prefer to sit their exams in June with 44% of children preferring predicted grades 
  • 25% of all parents with children in secondary/primary school think schools should reopen on February 1 

Earlier this week, a spokesman for the Minister for Education Norma Foley said it remained the Government’s firm intention to hold a “traditional” Leaving Cert in June. Teachers’ unions have also called for the June exams to go ahead.

However, Ms Foley has signalled that if schools do not reopen soon, there will be challenges in holding the traditional Leaving Cert.

There has been speculation that mainstream schools may not be back until the end of February, with lockdown restrictions remaining at level 5 until after the mid-term break.

Sources close to Ms Foley said: “She will listen to and consider all that, but her priority is to get the Leaving Certs back for February 1.” Ultimately the return of mainstream schools will be based on public health advice.

More in this section