Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills

Leaving Certificate Reform: Discussion with School Management Bodies

Photo of Marc Ó CathasaighMarc Ó Cathasaigh (Waterford, Green Party) | Oireachtas source

I am verifiably on the grounds of Leinster House so I hope I am safe enough to continue. I am very taken with the idea of decoupling the senior cycle and leaving certificate. If we put it in front of us as a guiding star for the discussions we have from here on out as a committee, it would be well worthwhile. Mr. Crone spoke about this and the scarring effect of the leaving certificate that we all still feel. To revert to what I asked earlier, I wonder whether there is a system we could look at in which this is done, whether UCAS or something else.

I accept the point made by Mr. Irwin that we should not necessarily always look abroad for examples of good practice. The LCA has great potential. As Mr. Irwin said, can we somehow break down the barriers between these two things and allow people to sit subjects in the leaving certificate while doing the LCA? I would also like to see it to stigmatised. I would like the leaving certificate applied to be regarded as highly as the traditional leaving certificate. It feels a little bit frustrating to be having this hearing blind of the NCCA report and the UL review of the junior certificate reforms. The other question I would like to ask is what junior certificate reforms we see positively mapping onto a senior cycle reform but perhaps we are being previous. Perhaps the witnesses have an insight on it that I do not.

Something raised at the coiste Gaeilge quite often is the proposed changes to the Gaeilge curriculum for the senior cycle. Do the witnesses feel they should be paused for the moment? Should we go ahead with the review as proposed?


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