February 1, 2021
Taoiseach’s recognition of choice for Leaving Cert welcome but more detail urgently required – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

DonnchadhSinn Féin spokesperson for Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has welcomed recent comments from the Taoiseach, recognising that a choice between a written exam and alternative assessment is the preferred option by students.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire urged the Taoiseach and Minister for Education to come to a decision on choice for the Leaving Cert as soon as possible.

Speaking today, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“I welcome the recent comments for the Taoiseach, who has eventually recognised that the desire of Leaving Cert students is a choice between a written exam and an alternative assessment.

“It is encouraging that the Taoiseach is now considering the kind of Leaving Cert choice that Sinn Féin has proposed.

“As we have seen in recent weeks, however, no plan for education will work without extensive and sustained engagement and consultation with all stakeholders.

“I call on the Taoiseach and the Minister for Education to urgently provide detail on how this choice will work for students.

“If calculated grades are used, then there are fairer ways of checking their accuracy. The Minister must urgently examine how this will be done. We do not want to see a repeat of last year – unfair algorithms and school profiling must not be used.

“Sinn Féin also believe it is crucial that students who want to sit written Leaving Cert exams are given the option to do so.

“The detail of this will be important – what will the alternative be, how will the grades be arrived at, the role of teachers in this. I think the choice needs to be on a no detriment basis, so that students can avail of the better mark in their CAO.

“If a decision is made quickly, then this can be done, and students can avail of CAO offers this autumn regardless of their choice. However, the Taoiseach and the Minister must act urgently.

“The Leaving Certificate class of 2021 have been left in the lurch for too long. They deserve clarity. They deserve answers.”

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