The pain of the Leaving Cert should be spread out over two years

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“From a sample size of three, I have decided that the Leaving Cert is by far the most punishing way of getting into university. Our children were mostly home-educated and – so far – have all taken different routes to third level: A-levels, QQI-FET courses and, this June, the Leaving Cert …” (more)

[Breda O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 June]

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Universities call for more money as Leaving Cert numbers rise

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on June 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Universities say the surge in Leaving Cert candidate numbers evident this year must trigger an increase in Government funding to cater for student demand coming down the tracks. More than 124,000 students start the State exams today, the highest figure in years, and one that will continue growing until the mid 2020s at least …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 5 June]

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Number of students sitting Leaving Cert surges to highest level in 15 years thanks to Millennium ‘baby boom’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert candidate numbers have surged to their highest level in 15 years, with a hike in ambitious students planning to sit subjects at ‘honours’ level. The baby boom children from the turn of the millennium are now reaching the end of their school years, meaning entries are up 3% …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 4 June]

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CAO points race is distorting the true meaning of education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“With this year’s State examinations almost upon us, and a review of the senior cycle underway, it is perhaps timely to consider how that review should proceed. The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) represents second level teachers as well as teachers in further and adult education and third level lecturers …” (more)

[Seamus Lahart, Irish Times, 3 June]

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Teachers say junior-cycle science curriculum being ‘dumbed down’

Posted in Teaching on June 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Science teachers say a new science curriculum for pupils completing the junior cycle amounts to a ‘dumbing down’ of the subject. The finding is contained in a report by the Irish Science Teachers’ Association based on a survey of more than 700 teachers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 June]

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Leaving Cert students who suffer bereavement can defer exams

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on May 31st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert pupils who suffer bereavement of close relatives during next month’s exams will be able to sit alternative papers in July. The new move follows long-standing criticism over the existing system which offered little accommodation for bereaved students …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 31 May]

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The Leaving Cert might not be perfect but it is fairer than many other systems

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 31st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“June heralds not only the beginning of the Leaving Certificate but also the annual debate about whether the high stake exams are still fit for purpose. The typical complaints are that the Leaving Certificate causes too much stress and that it fails to develop critical thinking among students …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 31 May]

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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]

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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]

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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]

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‘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]

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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]

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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]

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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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