August 19, 2020
Leaving Cert students should not be punished as a result of government mismanagement –

Mark WardSinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward has called on the Minister for Education to reassure Leaving Cert students awaiting results after standardisation measures used to calculate grades, similar to those being employed here, were scrapped in the North and in Britain. 

Deputy Ward added that in an unprecedented public health emergency, students should not be punished as a result of indecision or mismanagement by government

Speaking today, Teachta Ward said: “The class of 2020 Leaving Cert students have already gone through the wringer mentally since the outbreak of Covid-19. 

“The prolonged indecision by the previous government on whether students would have to sit exams was a cause of grave concern for those who had spent years preparing for their Leaving Certificates. This delay and indecision no doubt took a heavy toll on the mental health of the class of 2020.

“We have seen the recent controversy where A-level students in the North, England and Wales learned that during the standardisation process, up to 40 per cent of the grades estimated by their teachers had been marked down. We must not repeat the same mistakes.

“The government has adopted a similar process for calculating grades. This will consider teachers’ predicted grades in addition to other factors, including a school’s previous results. 

“The government’s system could see students from disadvantaged schools that have a history of lower results having  their results marked down because of where they live or what school they went to.

“This is unacceptable. The public health emergency is unprecedented, and students should not be punished as a result of indecision or mismanagement by this Government.

“In a normal year the Leaving Cert is a cause of anxiety and worry for students but during this pandemic these concerns are exasperated. 

“I have contacted the Minister for Education and asked her to bring forward solutions which will ease the mental health concerns of  students.

“The class of 2020 need a break.”

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