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Thursday, 18th February 2021

Hall welcomes clarity on Leaving Cert choice

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Councillor Michelle Hall.

Well done to students and ISSU on their campaign for choice

School profiling must be ruled out now

Labour Councillor Michelle Hall has given the news that clarity will be provided to the Leaving Cert class of 2021 after so much uncertainty a cautious welcome but says the next challenge is to get schools reopened as soon as it is safe to do so.

 “As a parent of Leaving Cert students, both this year and last, I know the last few weeks have been incredibly stressful for all Leaving Cert students, their families and teachers in the search for way forward” Cllr Hall said.

“The next steps is working out what comes next for those students, and then getting our schools reopened in a phased way once it is safe. There was welcome certainty as well for Junior Cert students with confirmation that the exams won’t go ahead this year.

“… There has been enough anxiety amongst our students around the country and their biggest ask has been for certainty. This decision has followed the hard work of all stakeholders and the involvement of the State Examinations Commission is to be welcomed. I want to congratulate all students and ISSU on their campaign to have their voices heard and we now must work to ensure that the students are at the heart of the political process to implement this plan.

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“The Labour Party is ready to work with Government make this process a success and the Minister must rule out school profiling for calculated grades now.

“A key concern is that the independent review of last year’s Leaving Cert has not taken place. Had this happened, we would not have found ourselves wading through this uncertainty for the past number of months.

“Once full agreement is reached on this plan, the Minister needs to focus her attention on reopening schools where it is safe and possible to do so. Parents are deeply frustrated with school closures, while teachers remain uneasy about how safe it will be to return and we need to work together and consider all available options. 

“This whole debacle further highlights the urgent need for the Government to commence a consultation process on reforming the Leaving Cert. It’s clear that it’s no longer fit for purpose and that alternative, and perhaps more effective, methods of assessing students exists. 

“On the whole, this news is positive and we should praise the hard work of all partners in education for achieving clarity for the Class of 2021. We will work with Government to make this process as successful as possible.”

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