Minister for Education expected to address Cabinet sub-committee on Education tomorrow

Minister for Education expected to address Cabinet sub-committee on Education tomorrow

THE Minister for Education Norma Foley is expected to address the Cabinet sub-committee on Education on Wednesday, February 17 on the issue of assessment for this year's Leaving Certificate.

THE Minister for Education Norma Foley is expected to address the Cabinet sub-committee on Education on Wednesday, February 17 on the issue of assessment for this year's Leaving Certificate.

Officials within the Department of Education are hopeful that she will be in a position to announce concrete plans for the Leaving Certificate when she goes before the committee.

Extensive talks are taking place today between the department, teacher trade unions, and other parties. These talks are believed to be centred on the holding of the written Leaving Certificate and a parallel option to include a modified form of last year's calculated grades. Orals, practical exams, and the Junior Cycle exams are also part of the broader discussion.

The ASTI had pulled out of talks last week over concerns that calculated grades would be the dominant option offered to students. Their officials quickly returned to the negotiating table after receiving assurances from Minister Foley.

It is understood that the Leaving Cert talks are separate from other ongoing discussions on a wider reopening of schools.

Students with additional needs and Leaving Certificate students remain the priority in any return to school.

After that, at primary level, priority is likely to be given to smaller children for whom remote learning is more difficult. Any phased return will be subject to public health advice.

Speaking on his way into today’s Cabinet meeting, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he is hopeful that clarity will be forthcoming.

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