- 18 Feb 21
The timetable for the written examinations in June are expected to be published today.
After months of discussions, Minister for Education Norma Foley has confirmed that Leaving Certificate examinations will proceed in June 2021. However, she revealed that students will also have the alternative option to apply for grades accredited by the State Examinations Commission (SEC).
In a statement, Minister Foley noted that the plan, approved by the government yesterday, was developed "to ensure a fair process so that Leaving Certificate students can progress to the next stage of their lives."
"All stakeholders have worked extremely hard to get to this point," she continued. "I have listened carefully to all, and we have worked together to find solutions. Students and parents have been clear on the need for both clarity and choice which I believe this decision gives them.
"As requested by the student representatives we explored thoroughly the option of providing the SEC-Accredited Grades to students in advance of the written examinations, but this option is not possible.
"I am conscious that many students are concerned that they have not covered the full curriculum for their subjects in class, due to the interruption of in-person learning caused by the pandemic.
"Everyone wants a system that is fair and that provides the opportunity for real progression for students.
"I want to thank sincerely all the stakeholders involved in the Advisory Group process, and I look forward to continuing to work together over the coming months in further developing and implementing these plans."
For those choosing to take the Leaving Cert exams, the oral exams will be held during the Easter holidays, or shortly afterwards. The timetable for the written exams in June will be published sometime today by the SEC.
It was also confirmed that the Junior Cycle examinations will not take place in 2021.
In response to the plans for the Leaving Certificate in 2021, the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) have expressed "significant reservations and deep disappointment about elements of the decision."
In particular, the TUI claimed that "the Minister’s decision to apply marks awarded for oral and practical examinations only to the established Leaving Certificate process is regrettable and regressive."
"Those marks should also be applied to the SEC Accredited Grades process as sought by the TUI in the practical concrete proposals that it brought to the negotiations," the union continued. "Provision of a separate estimated mark in respect of the orals and practicals for the SEC Accredited Grade is a poor second best, albeit better than the absence of such a separate mark.
"Ironically, this element of the Government’s decision is likely to have two damaging effects - hurting the credibility of the SEC Accredited Grades process and reducing the numbers who will sit the Leaving Certificate examinations in June."
A message for 2021 Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied students pic.twitter.com/2VTVrT2McC
— Department of Education (@Education_Ire) February 17, 2021