Thursday, 30 July 2020
Opening of Schools and Calculated Grades: Statements
That is helpful; I thank the Minister. Earlier, I mentioned to the Minister that in an exchange I had during the week with the Taoiseach, he said there would be consultation with all of what he described as the stakeholders on the proposed changes in next year's leaving certificate about which the Minister has just spoken about. He laid particular emphasis on the fact that he considered it important that there would be a very high degree of consultation with sixth year students to seek their consent for the changes. I asked the Minister about this yesterday and she spoke in the past tense. When I asked whether there would be consultation in an effort to gauge the level of consent among students and if consent was not there, whether further changes would be made, the Minister indicated that the students have representative organisations that had already been consulted. I am not asking her that. Approximately 60,000 students will find out about these changes from their teachers in the first days when they go back to school. If the sentiment among students is that these changes do not go far enough, need to go further and that more or different changes need to be made, what will happen then? If there is the level of consultation that the Taoiseach indicated he felt was desirable, it would suggest that the matter would not then be concluded. In other words, the current position may not be final. Is the Minister open to further discussion and consultation with students on that issue if they feel there are matters that need to be addressed?