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. Paul Crone:

In terms of moving on and having individuality, we need to have flexibility within the system so that students who realise at 15 or 16 years of age that maths, for example, is their passion will be able to focus their energy on maths. Other students might be focused on languages or linguistics and they need to have that flexibility built in to be able to do that. Any new senior cycle needs to be able to respond to the needs of students. We learned very clearly in the past two years that principals reported that the stress and anxiety levels virtually disappeared among students in June. Parents could tell us the same. We need to learn from that lesson. Students trust their teachers. There is a positive learning relationship there. Teachers are guiding the learning of students and that must be built on.

Like all of us of a certain age, I can still remember my leaving certificate such was the trauma of it. That is a scar we need to be mindful of in any changes made to the system in the future.


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