Taoiseach backs Junior Cert resits for students who suffer bereavement

Leo Varadkar says the extension of provision for Leaving Cert pupils would be ‘sensible’

The Taoiseach  has described as ‘reasonable and sensible’ a suggestion that Junior Cert students who suffer a bereavement during their exams should be allowed to resit those exams. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

The Taoiseach has described as ‘reasonable and sensible’ a suggestion that Junior Cert students who suffer a bereavement during their exams should be allowed to resit those exams. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described as “reasonable and sensible” a suggestion that Junior Cert students who suffer a bereavement during their exams should be allowed to resit those exams in July.

In the Dáil on Wednesday, Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil asked that the decision to allow Leaving Cert students who suffer a death in the family at exam time to resit their exams the following month should be extended to pupils at Junior Cert level.

The Kerry TD acknowledged the Junior Cert was not of the same importance as the Leaving Cert, but any student “who suffers a bereavement would be in no position to perform to the best of his or her ability” in the exams.

Mr Brassil said that “the results of those exams sometimes inform the direction in which he or she goes for their fifth and sixth years”.

He asked the Taoiseach to discuss the issue with Minister for Education Joe McHugh.

Responding to the proposal, Mr Varadkar said: “That is a reasonable and sensible suggestion.”

He agreed that “although the Junior Certificate is not quite as life-forming or life-changing as the Leaving Certificate, the same principles apply, and we should make allowances for students who are bereaved to allow them to do their exams at a later date”.

The Taoiseach said he would ask the Minister to liaise with Mr Brassil.