13 May 2020 – Department of Education and Skills’ statement on stakeholder engagement in relation to the State Examinations
The Department of Education and Skills today (Wednesday 13 May 2020) hosted a seventh meeting with a range of stakeholders as part of planning in relation to the State Examinations during the Covid-19 response. The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe Mc Hugh TD, attended today’s meeting.
The advisory group of stakeholders includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission, the National Educational Psychological Service, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and the Department.
The Higher Education Authority attends meetings in an observer capacity, to assist feeding back to consultations it is involved with across the third level sector.
The Minister took the opportunity to thank members of the Advisory Group for the detailed work that they had undertaken regarding the examinations and Calculated Grades.
The advisory group discussed the recent decision to postpone the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations and for all students to be offered the option of Calculated Grades or sitting Leaving Certificate written examinations at a later date.
The advisory group was provided with an update on the development of detailed guidance for schools and teachers regarding calculated grades.
Today’s meeting also considered areas on which it would be useful to provide further information for students and parents on calculated grades and how best this information might be communicated.
The group also received updates on the measures that have been put in place to support the wellbeing of students at this time.
The Minister said: “I’d like thank the members of the advisory group for their ongoing work. They have shown leadership and commitment to finding a solution. It has been important to bring clarity to our Leaving Certificate students. The system of Calculated Grades gives us the fairest way possible of helping them to progress to the next stage in their lives.
“We are continuing to work on the development of the detailed guidance that schools will need to formulate and submit data for Calculated Grades.
“The Advisory Group has provided invaluable information about the views of all those involved – students, parents, teachers, school managers and others. The time afforded to the members has been an integral and vital part of the process in recent weeks.”
The group agreed to meet again next week to continue its discussions.