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 Jim O'CallaghanJim O'Callaghan (Dublin Bay South, Fianna Fail)
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I thank the Chairman and the witnesses, also, for coming before us today. It is important to point out that the purpose of these hearings is that we will be producing a report on reform of the leaving certificate. We should not shy away from any questions, irrespective of how basic they may seem.

I will start by asking a very simple question of Mr. Irwin, if that is okay with him. Is it absolutely necessary to assess students at the end of their school experience in order to say that they have received an education? I am conscious, as he stated, that we cannot decouple the leaving certificate and end-of-school experience from access to third level education. How important is assessment as part of education, however? Is it integral and necessary or is it something that we overemphasise?