Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Education and Skills
368. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the new challenges the new leaving certificate results system will put on students hoping for a place in a college in Northern Ireland; and the mitigating measures he can introduce with the co-operation of his Northern Ireland counterpart to alleviate some of these difficulties. [6776/20]
Since early April, I have been in correspondence with the NI Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds (with responsibility for higher education) on the question on Irish students who plan to pursue their studies with higher education institutions in Northern Ireland. I have also written to the NI Minister for Education Peter Weir in a similar vein.
Since then, contacts are maintained regularly at official level. The Secretary General of my Department has engaged with NI Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education to promote cooperation on Covid 19 responses in education on a North-South basis, including sharing views on key policy decisions such as safe re-opening of schools, schools hygiene and maintaining social distance in education institutions. Other engagements at official level are continuing with the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and their Department of the Economy, as well as with UCAS, on issues affecting Irish students aiming to study in Northern Ireland next year.
Arising from my announcement about of the 2020 Leaving Certificate on 9 May, I am hopeful that the results will be available as close as possible to the intended date on which the Leaving Cert examination results were originally due.