Further clarity on Leaving Cert expected tomorrow

Further clarity on Leaving Cert expected tomorrow

Further clarity on how Leaving Certificate exams will be held this year is expected to be given on Tuesday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs has said.

Further clarity on how Leaving Certificate exams will be held this year is expected to be given on Tuesday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs has said.

Members of the Cabinet sub-committee on education were meeting on Monday to discuss options regarding the Leaving Certificate.

Ministers were also discussing schools reopening and childcare.

Simon Coveney said that Minister for Education Norma Foley is expected to bring a number of recommendations to Government on Tuesday.

He told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne programme: "I've spoken to many, many families who want certainty around the exams.

"We did learn lessons from last year that we have got to give as much time as possible and as much certainty as possible for students and their families to prepare for exams or some alternative to that.

"That's why we are anxious to make decisions a lot earlier this year, so we can hopefully address the stress levels in people's homes linked to exams and future prospects for students going to college and so on.

"Hopefully we will be able to give some clarity on that tomorrow."

The Government has been facing mounting pressure to make a decision on whether to press ahead with the year's Leaving Cert in its usual format.

Last year's exams were replaced with predicated grades.

Among the options being considered is to give students a choice between a written exam and calculated grades.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) said the Government should press ahead with the exams, however they have called for modified papers.

On Friday, Ms Foley met with ASTI representatives to discuss the Leaving Cert and the reopening of schools.

On Sunday, Professor Philip Nolan said that the country is progressing towards a place where the phased reopening of education can be considered.

The head of Nphet's epidemiological modelling advisory group said Ireland could see a drop to 200-400 new cases of Covid-19 a day by the end of February.

"I think we can say given the huge progress that we have made as a community in suppressing the virus, we're now approaching a level of disease in the community where it would be safe to think about an appropriately phased, cautious reopening of education," Professor Nolan said.

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