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. John Curtis:

The Deputy has made a number of interesting points. When the NCCA started this process a number of years ago we had a meeting in Croke Park at which we had educationalists. We examined models in different countries. Every country is different and has its own culture and education systems have developed differently. We have bits to learn from many jurisdictions. Obviously, Finland and Australia are often mentioned with regard to certain elements we could borrow. I have great trust in the NCCA and the process in which it is currently engaged. What has been evident in the process is the way it has been going into school and reaching out to all the partners, namely, ourselves, the parents and the students. There is a recognition that what we are doing is fundamental and extremely important. Therefore, it might take us some time to tease out the ramifications of everything. A criticism we have of the junior cycle reform is that while it has delivered many pluses, aspects of it were rushed. There are still some issues related to assessment and meetings at school level that are causing difficulties because some of the partners were not brought on board fully enough. What is extremely positive about the process now is how people are being engaged with, how the NCCA is engaging with it, how we as education partners are talking to our stakeholders about what it might entail. For, instance, we in the JMB have an education conference coming up in November on pathway possibilities with respect to the leaving certificate. We will have speakers from the NCCA and the Department attending. The Minister, Deputy Harris, will join us also as we tease out the implications of where we are at. While we are not at the starting point of the journey it will take us some time to tease out the full ramifications of what is needed as we move forward.


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