State exams commission and Minister win limited appeal against Carter judgment

Posted in Legal issues on May 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Minister for Education and Skills have succeeded in their limited appeals against parts of a High Court decision allowing student Rebecca Carter to take up a place at veterinary medicine at UCD …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 29 May]

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State Examinations Commission appeals for teachers to mark exams

Posted in Teaching on May 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education authorities have launched an urgent appeal for teachers to mark the Leaving Cert and Junior Cert with just over a week to go before the start of the exams. The State Examinations Commission has asked principals to assist in hiring teachers – including retired teachers and newly qualified teachers – to mark exams which are due to get underway in under a fortnight …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 May]

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Examiner shortage poses ‘challenge’ to State exam standards

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A shortage of teachers prepared to work as examiners is posing a ‘significant challenge’ to the maintenance of standards in correcting the State exams, according to internal records. The State Examinations Commission, which has responsibility for organising the Junior and Leaving Cert, has been struggling in recent years to recruit teachers to correct exam papers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 May]

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The Leaving Certificate

Posted in Teaching on May 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Further to Barry O’Callaghan’s article of April 30th (‘The Leaving Cert is failing our children – here’s how to fix it’, Education Opinion, April 30th), could I suggest that the next time a column appears in The Irish Times in which the writer puts forward the proposition that the Leaving Cert is not fit for purpose …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 2 May]


Yet more thoughts on the Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This is an analysis (fisk?) of this article in the Irish Times by Barry O’Callaghan, former principal and chair of the National Association Association of Principals and Deputies (NAPD) leading for learning committee …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 30 April]


The Leaving Cert is failing our children – here’s how to fix it

Posted in Teaching on April 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Anna sat the Leaving Certificate in the summer of 2017 and secured a place in Trinity. She got 580 points, was pleased with her results, yet her next words nailed the problem: ‘If I was to sit it today, I wouldn’t get 200 points’. Four months on, she had forgotten what she had memorised …” (more)

[Barry O’Callaghan, Irish Times, 30 April]


‘Review junior cycle before Leaving Cert is changed’

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A second-level teachers union leader said the junior cycle reforms must be properly evaluated before any changes are made to the Leaving Cert. Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) president Seamus Lahart said while a senior cycle review was under way there was no evidence of the positive and negative consequences of the radical overhaul of the Junior Cert …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 25 April]

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The Irish Times view on Leaving Cert reforms

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The consultation with students and parents as part of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) review of the Leaving Cert, reveals a surprising ignorance on how the exam has been radically transformed, as revised curriculums across a wide range of subjects have been introduced …” (more)

[Irish Times, 1 April]

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Continuous Assessment and the Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on March 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“There seems to be a consensus developing in certain quarters that the Leaving Cert (LC) needs a bit of an overhaul and many are making the case for the inclusion of a lot more continuous assessment (CA). The arguments for more continuous assessment seem to include the following: …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 29 March]

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Leaving Cert ‘too academic’ say groups consulted in senior-cycle review

Posted in Teaching on March 27th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Certificate is too narrowly focused on academic learning and is not suitable for students of varying abilities, according to groups consulted as part of an official review of the senior cycle. A strong consensus has emerged among many schools and students that the current system is too rigid and should have more technical or creative pathways for students whose strengths lie in different areas …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 March]


Leaving Cert students may be assessed over two years

Posted in Teaching on March 27th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students should be assessed on a staggered basis over two years instead of facing a single set of summer exams, according to groups consulted as part of an official review of the senior cycle. The proposal is one of a series that, if agreed, would amount to the biggest changes in the Leaving Cert in half a century …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 March]


Leaving Cert: Senior cycle review seeks update to 21st century

Posted in Teaching on March 27th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Cert was introduced almost a century ago and its basic structure has remained broadly the same over the past 50 years or so. At a time when society and the world of work is undergoing rapid change, it poses the question of whether our senior-cycle system is fit for purpose for the 21st century …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 March]


Moynihan calls for overhaul of leaving cert appeals process

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A Cork TD has called for an overhaul of the Leaving Certificate appeals mechanism after it emerged one high-profile case last year cost the State almost €70,000. Cork North West Fianna Fail TD Michael Moynihan has said the current appeals process was ‘deeply flawed’ and that revising it would result in huge savings for the State …” (more)

[Bill Browne, The Corkman, 23 March]

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Could traditional subjects become a thing of the past in Irish schools?

Posted in Teaching on March 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Are secondary schools preparing students for life? Or are they just preparing them for the Leaving Cert points race and ignoring the kind of skills they will really need? With a review of the Leaving Cert curriculum under way, it’s a question that comes up again and again …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 19 March]


School subjects strongly influence whether girls study Stem at college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Fewer girls than boys are choosing to study Stem subjects in college due to the choices they make at Leaving Cert level, new research has shown. The Understanding Gender Differences in STEM study, published by the UCD centre for economic research, reveals that the subjects female students choose to study during the Leaving Cert cycle strongly influence whether or not they will go on to study courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) at third level …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 18 March]

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Students’ on Leaving Cert reform: ‘We’re being pushed to breaking point’

Posted in Teaching on March 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The pressure of the Leaving Cert is causing stress, burnout and mental health problems among students, according to an official review of senior cycle education in secondary schools. With the assistance of the Irish Secondary Students’ Union, we asked pupils to share their views on what they want to change about the senior cycle system …” (more)

[Irish Times, 13 March]


Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor welcome earlier date for Round One CAO offers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD have today (15 February, 2019) welcomed confirmation that Round One offers from the Central Applications Office (CAO) will be issued this year on the earlier date of Thursday, 15 August 2019 …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 15 February]

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Leaving Cert students set to receive college offers four days earlier than normal

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This year’s Leaving Cert students will have to wait just 48 hours after they get their exam results to find out if they have a college place. Up until now, thousands of students have faced the agony of a five-day wait after their results to see if they secured a CAO offer …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 February]

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The Leaving Cert, signalling and third level non-completion rates

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The fact that completion rates in university and IoT courses are closely correlated with CAO points has been known for some time. However, the fact that this is still newsworthy is interesting and probably has to do with the prevailing narrative, a narrative in which the Leaving Cert is deemed to be unfit for purpose and inadequate as a preparation for the rigours of 21st century higher education …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 14 February]

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Four in Every Five Irish Students Complete their Degree

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Major Study of Higher Education Completion Rates Finds that Leaving Certificate Performance is Strongest Predictor of Completion. The Higher Education Authority today published a study on the rates of completion of 34,059 students who entered Irish Universities, Institutes and Colleges full time at undergraduate level in the 2007/8 academic year …” (more, download)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 14 February]

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