Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills

Leaving Certificate Reform: Discussion with School Management Bodies

Mr. Paddy Flood:

The honest answer is that it is probably not possible. However, the key area is the level of that competition. A reference was made to medicine. Far be it for me to talk about all the options that are available in higher education but we have seen lots of example of options being narrowed for students, with small, short courses requiring high points being created and a diversification of programmes. Others have taken the route of having general courses that give access to a broad range of subjects, for example, in the sciences, with options to move into other specialised areas after year 1 or year 2 in a degree programme. That is key.

In terms of the competition around assessing the various levels of competence, the game changer here is that the dominant form we are talking about is the ability to perform in examination conditions. It is interesting that when students are asked to complete school-based learning project work, such as oral presentations, through further education and training programmes, traineeships and apprenticeships, this has not caused issues. This is happening all the time. It seems to be successful but it does not get the same day in the sun. We have a lot to learn from the leaving certificate applied and the leaving certificate vocational programme.


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