Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

State Examinations

Photo of Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireDonnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central, Sinn Fein)
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288. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the situation facing persons that are seeking to become teachers and further to this have repeated subjects such as, for example, Irish, having completed the remainder of the leaving certificate in another year; and if the calculation of their grade will be considered acceptable to admit students to teacher training courses in such circumstances. [6405/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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On 8thof May, 2020, I announced the postponement of the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations until a later time when it is safe to run the examinations. This decision was taken by Cabinet based on public health advice as the welfare of students and that of their families is front and central to all decision making.

Leaving Certificate candidates can now opt to have calculated grades issued to them in order to facilitate their progress to third-level education in 2020. The plan is to provide calculated grades to candidates as close as possible to the normal results day.

All candidates will also have an opportunity to sit the Leaving Certificate Examination at the earliest, safest and practical time to do so. The State Examinations Commission will set about putting the detailed arrangements for these examinations in place, guided of course by health advice.

I am aware that there are candidates who are repeating a Leaving Certificate subject/s in order to satisfy a minimum entry requirement for entry to a 3rdlevel programme of initial teacher education. For those candidates who are studying one or more subjects outside of a recognised school, my Department will be flexible in accepting estimated marks and rankings from other schools or colleges, and will look at this issue on a case-by-case basis.

In general, I can say that, provided that my Department can receive an estimated mark and ranking from a teacher in a way that is fair to all candidates, my Department will seek to provide a calculated grade. This calculated grade can then be used in the same way as a Leaving Certificate grade to satisfy minimum entry requirements for entry to an initial teacher education programme. My Department will continue to keep the matter under review.

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