- 08 May 20
Students, teachers, parents and commentators have shared mixed reactions to the cancellation of Leaving Cert exams.
After weeks of deliberations, the Minister for Education Joe McHugh has announced that this summer's Leaving Cert exams have been cancelled, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
McHugh revealed that students will have a choice to take predictive grades, or sit the exam at a later date in the future.
“We all know the Leaving Certificate can be a stressful time," he said. "Some students have parents working on the frontline, others are anxious about families and some are grieving."
“My desire had been to allow students to undertake the written and practical examinations July and August," he continued. "But I have compelling evidence, based on medical advice and other assessments, that the Leaving Certificate examinations cannot be held in a reliable and valid manner, nor in way that would be equitable for students.”
Under the new plan for calculated grades, teachers will offer their predictive scores – which will then be approved by the school's principal. A new unit is being set up by the Department of Education to process the results provided by each school. Students will also have the option to appeal their results.
While the announcement has come as a relief to many after weeks of uncertainty, there have also been mixed reactions from students, parents, teachers and commentators.
If Leaving Cert had been cancelled ‘74 and replaced by class work I would not be a doctor and probably not a graduate. We have 55k candidates, 60k teachers 700 schools. We can’t organise multiple small sittings? Rationalise 2 paper exams-1? Televisual orals?
— ProfJohnCrown (@ProfJohnCrown) May 8, 2020
If we can close down the economy, seems reasonable to cancel the Leaving Cert for 2020. It risks being Cheltenham for teenagers - mass gathering, thus huge public health risk. We trust teachers in the classroom, why not trust them to treat predictive marking professionally too?
— David McWilliams (@davidmcw) May 7, 2020
As an absolute dosser who hated school, I can't explain the intense elated feeling of joy this news would have brought me https://t.co/vwPxCGL3Te
— The Blindboy Podcast (@Rubberbandits) May 7, 2020
Will predicted #LeavingCert results be awarded using 'school profiles' (league tables) which Dept has traditionally refused to publish, which it has exempted from FOI, on precise ground that such comparisons boost most privileged schools/ students & exacerbate social inequality? pic.twitter.com/WW39k7Pzbc
— Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (@AodhanORiordain) May 8, 2020
"Last night I had the best sleep I've had in two months...."#LeavingCert2020 student when asked how she was feeling after last nights news of the cancelling the exams and moving to predictive grades.
To quote the late David Bowie pic.twitter.com/HL0NEAHgTg
— Michael Collins (@mcollins1922) May 8, 2020
Somewhere tonight a young man named Daragh is going to sleep, blissfully clueless to the fact that he will be suing the State in a few months’ time over his Leaving Cert results.
— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) May 7, 2020
I had a lot going on in my Leaving Cert year & left school the December before the exams & studied at home (our funeral home as it happens - it was dead quiet). My mocks were terrible but I got an ok Leaving. If predictive grades were applied to me I’d never have got to college.
— Elaine Byrne (@ElaineByrne) May 7, 2020
Sensible decision. But this would have gone very badly for 17-year-old-me and all my fellow crammers. It’s the “who cares about the mocks, sure I’ll cram, be grand” brigade I feel sorry for 😢https://t.co/HiMiemgj15
— Róisín Ingle (@roisiningle) May 7, 2020
This leaving cert stuff is seriously hard on the students. Really feel for them and parents. I’ve long believed it needs to be reformed. Perhaps now is good time to have that discussion
— Niall Breslin (@nbrez) May 7, 2020
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