Education Minister Joe McHugh confirmed yesterday that the exams would take place in late July and early August, with a timetable available in early June and reaction from Cork teachers has been mixed.
“Students and their families have been seeking clarity,” Mr McHugh said. “Today’s announcement addresses that. It also provides them with several weeks’ of advance notice to prepare for the examinations. I hope it helps to alleviate some stress being experienced by students and their families at this time.
“The Leaving Cert year is very intense, and you’re gunning to be peaking in June,” he told. “Now that timeline has been extended by two months, do you keep working and stay focused and run the risk of burning out, or do you take a breather for a while and then plough on?”
Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said more clarity is needed.
“We now do not have an actual date for a Leaving Cert, which is unprecedented,” he said.
“For students, the ongoing stress and anxiety continues, and it has been unbearable at a time when anxiety is already high.”
Tracey Kennedy, principal of Carrignafoy Community College in Cobh, welcomed the decision, as she said it “was becoming obvious that there was not enough time to get students back into the classroom”.
In a statement last night, the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland said it has a number of serious concerns about elements of the announcement and will be seeking clarifications in relation to these.