New arrangements for junior cert; schools can decide whether to hold assessments

New arrangements for junior cert; schools can decide whether to hold assessments
Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has announced revised arrangements for this year's Junior Cycle students. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has this afternoon (Wednesday 29 April 2020) announced revised arrangements for this year’s Junior Cycle.

Under the arrangements, the Minister said schools are to be given autonomy to decide whether to or not to run school-based assessments for these students and what form they take. 

He said options to consider include school-designed examinations, tasks, projects, assignments, essay style questions, presentations, or other tasks agreed at a local level.

The Minister also announced that the work and achievement of third year Junior Cycle students will be recognised with a state certificate from the Department of Education and Skills.

Students will receive a written school report on their learning achievements in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit after the end of the current school year. 

The decision was taken following recommendations from an advisory group of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures and the decision that the Junior Cycle State Examinations will not run this year.

Minister McHugh attended the meeting of the advisory group and thanked the members for their work.

“In this difficult time for students I have listened to the very strongly-held and well-articulated views of students, parents and other stakeholders,” Minister McHugh said.

“This decision has been made with the health and wellbeing of students, parents and teachers at the forefront of our thinking.

“It gives students and their families more clarity and certainty. It also gives schools freedom to decide how best to assess the progress of students following three years of hard work and learning," he said. 

Meanwhile, arrangements are to be put in place for adult learners to give them an opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations for which they are entered in autumn 2020.


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