Rethinking the Leaving Cert

Sir, – The widespread view that the Leaving Certificate is "brutal but fair", referred to by the provost of Trinity College Dublin (Education Opinion, January 26th), is worth examining. Everyone appears to agree that the Leaving Certificate is brutal; however, it is far from fair for the many students who have difficulties in learning or do not wish to go on to higher education. The Leaving Certificate, like many areas of education, is the subject of contentious debate, a sign, I would suggest of how highly valued education is within our society. We, as a society, need a space to openly discuss how we can reimagine a Leaving Certificate for the 21st century. In the recent past, we have successfully addressed fraught issues through a citizens' assembly. Surely the time is right for another citizens' assembly that will help us as a society to reach agreement. – Yours, etc,


School of Education,

Trinity College Dublin,


Dublin 2.