All necessary measures in place at Leaving Cert exam centres, says Foley

Minister says every effort will be made to assist first-years seeking accommodation

Minister for Education Norma Foley. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Minister for Education Norma Foley. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

 

All measures have been taken at exam centres to ensure that this year’s Leaving Cert can go ahead following public health advice, Minister for Education Norma Foley has said.

“Students can rest easy that whatever needs to be done will be in place,” said Ms Foley.

The Minister said it had been an unprecedented 18 months for Leaving Cert students who had worked very hard in difficult circumstances. It was very important to remember that we were in the midst of a pandemic, she said.

This year’s students had to be recognised for their efforts, Ms Foley told Newstalk Breakfast.

The Minister said it was also important to recognise that this year’s dual process of accredited grades along with the option of the written exams had been advocated for by students. The process would be familiar to students as this was the second year the accredited grades option had been available.

Ms Foley defended the role of teachers in the process, pointing out that it did not involve teachers acting alone, but also involved their colleagues teaching the same subject and the school principal.

Every effort would be made to assist first year third-level students seeking accommodation despite the late date for the release of the Leaving Cert results.

Particular provision would be made for first years, said the Minister. “Things will fall into place,” she said.

Earlier on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Ms Foley explained that the two processes for this year’s Leaving Cert – accredited grades and the written exams – were entirely separate and would not have an impact on each other.

Ireland was unique in offering the dual options, she said. While the date scheduled for the release of this year’s Leaving Cert results was later than last year, it was still earlier than last year and the later date was necessary for checks and balances.

“It’s important to give perspective. These are not normal times,” she said.