Majority of Leaving Cert students want choice between calculated grades and exams

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The majority of Leaving Cert students want a choice between calculated grades and sitting June exams this year, according to a survey. The first preference of over half of the students – 55% – is to have that flexibility and the figure rises to 81% when second preferences are included. Only 4% of students – one in 25 – voted for the conventional exams as their top option, in the Irish Second Level Students Union (ISSU) survey …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 20 January]

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‘Inflexible’ Leaving Cert uses ‘limited range’ of assessments, says Taoiseach

Posted in Teaching on January 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Certificate is ‘often too inflexible’ and uses a ‘very limited range’ of methods for assessing learning, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has told educators. Mr Martin was speaking at the launch of the 2020 Education Matters Education Yearbook this afternoon …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 19 January]

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Leaving Cert decision needed by the end of the month, Simon Harris warns

Posted in Teaching on January 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Decisions need to be made on the future of the Leaving Cert by the end of this month, the Minister for Higher Education has said. Speaking in Dublin on Monday afternoon, Simon Harris said clarity was needed for all involved …” (more)

[Danuel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 18 January]

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Foley under growing pressure to consider alternative to the traditional Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on January 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Pressure is growing on Education Minster Norma Foley to consider an alternative to the traditional Leaving Cert. Several TDs raised the issue with the minister in the Dáil yesterday, with some supporting a return to calculated grades or a ‘hybrid model’, and all seeking an early decision on the fate of the exams …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 January]

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Teachers’ unions call for Leaving Cert to go ahead as planned

Posted in Teaching on January 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Two teachers’ unions have called for the Leaving Certificate exams to go ahead as planned following last year’s difficulty with calculated grades. The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) have said that the Leaving Cert should go ahead in June, despite calls for the exams to be axed this year …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 14 January]

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Excluding home-schooled students from Leaving Cert calculated grades ‘justifiable’, court hears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on January 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The exclusion of home-schooled students from the Leaving Certificate calculated grades process was rational and justifiable and the High Court erred in deciding otherwise, lawyers for the Minister for Education have argued before the Court of Appeal (COA). In upholding separate challenges by two home-schooled students over their exclusion from the process, the High Court intruded on policy considerations and effectively created an ‘alternative’ process, it was argued …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 12 January]

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The Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – Breda O’Brien makes some very valid points regarding the Leaving Certificate (‘Schools debacle exposes worrying lack of planning’, Opinion & Analysis, January 9th). However, I must take issue with her very strong criticism of the calculated grades system, which she describes ‘as the worst-case scenario for Leaving Cert students because they have no credibility given how badly they worked last time’ …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 12 January]

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Leaving Cert students should have option of predicted grades, says parents group

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Certificate students must be offered the choice to opt for predictive grades or sit their exams in June, a national council of parents has said. The Education and Training Board (ETB) Schools National Parents’ Association is calling on the Government to make a decision about how the process will run to provide ‘clarity and certainty’ …” (more)

[Ellen O’Riordan, Irish Times, 11 January]

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State Examinations Commission to discuss contingency planning for Leaving Cert 2021

Posted in Teaching on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission will meet later this month to discuss contingency planning for the Leaving Cert, but Opposition politicians say that quicker decision-making is needed. Plans to send Leaving Cert students back to school for three days a week fell apart just 24 hours after they were announced last week following objections from teachers’ unions …” (more)

[Paul Hosford, Irish Examiner, 11 January]

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Poll: Should Leaving Cert students be vaccinated so they can sit their exams?

Posted in Teaching on January 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Do you think Leaving Cert students should be vaccinated sooner so that they can sit their State exams this summer? Today the Business Post reported that ministers have discussed the possibility of vaccinating Leaving Cert students earlier, so that the ‘established’ version of the written exams can take place …” (more)

[Gráinne Ní Aodha, TheJournal.ie, 10 January]

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Foley and unions agree on Leaving Cert but no deal over schools’ return

Posted in Teaching on January 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Norma Foley, teacher unions and other education partners have agreed they want the Leaving Cert to go ahead – but they are no closer to getting sixth years back into the classroom. Less than 24 hours after teacher unions pulled the plug on plans to reopen schools on Monday for 60,000 Leaving Cert students and 18,000 pupils with special needs, a new round of talks was under way in an effort to find agreement …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 9 January]

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Norma Foley casts doubt over Leaving Cert unless students return to school

Posted in Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Norma Foley is casting doubt over whether Leaving Cert exams can go ahead after a three day week for sixth years was ruled out by teacher unions. The minister was forced into a U-turn on the partial re-opening of schools from Monday to allow 60,000 students continue face to face teaching in the crucial run up to the exams …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 8 January]

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Left-wing parties could sink €100m State subsidy for fee-paying schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Fee-paying schools are hoping to bounce back from last year’s hiccup when some of them didn’t get their usual crop of top grades across the board. The vast majority of their Leaving Cert students still went to college. But the performance of these schools was equalled by more non-fee paying schools than usual …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 8 January]

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Traditional Leaving Cert still the ‘firm objective’ despite schools staying closed – Minister Norma Foley

Posted in Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Holding a traditional Leaving Cert this summer is still the Government’s ‘firm objective’ despite schools remaining closed until February, education minister Norma Foley has said. Earlier this evening, the ASTI directed its members not to engage with the Department of Education’s plan to reopen schools to Leaving Cert students from next Monday due to ‘health and safety concerns’ …” (more)

[Eoghan Moloney, Independent, 7 January]

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Leaving Cert calculated grades system may need more homework, college tables show

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students from lower- and middle-­income backgrounds scooped up more college places in the autumn after the June 2020 Leaving Cert was replaced by calculated grades. They were buoyed by a big rise in the number of CAO offers made to adjust for the extraordinary circumstances of 2020 when teacher assessments combined with a computer algorithm decided the grades of more than 60,000 candidates …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 8 January]

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Calls growing for Leaving Cert 2021 to be cancelled as TD warns of huge mental health risks for students

Posted in Teaching on January 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“This year’s Leaving Cert should be cancelled as a result of Covid-19, with all students allowed to access their first or second-choice college courses, a Solidarity–People Before Profit TD has insisted. Mick Barry said today that running the exams – a rite of passage for thousands of young people across the country every year – risks ‘the potential for an unacceptable level of mental health pressures on a large number of leaving cert students’ …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, Irish Mirror, 6 January]

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‘Student voices aren’t being heard’ – Leaving Cert students ‘stressed out’ awaiting closure announcement

Posted in Teaching on January 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students say they’re feeling ‘anxious and stressed’ about the possibility of facing exams this summer in the face of a further possible school closure. The class of 2021 have already missed three months of fifth year with the possibility of schools remaining closed in January also looming this evening …” (more)

[Eoghan Moloney, Independent, 5 January]

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ASTI: State exams must go ahead in 2021 ‘no matter what’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The president of the Association of Secondary Students in Ireland (ASTI) has said that State exams must go ahead in 2021 ‘no matter what’. Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Today show, Ms Piggott said that the content of exam papers may need to be changed because of the current situation …” (more)

[Vivienne Clarke, Irish Examiner, 5 January]

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Students could get Leaving Cert points for work experience

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 21st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Students could get Leaving Cert points for completing accredited work experience or apprenticeships while still in school under draft plans being examined for reforming the senior cycle. An advisory report on proposals to reform the senior cycle is being finalised by the State advisory body on the curriculum and is due to be sent to the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, early next year …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 21 December]

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Early surge in CAO applications as students look to next year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The CAO has seen an early surge in applications for entry to college next September. The figure is 2,000 ahead of where it was this time last year and currently stands at over 21,000. The ongoing rise in Leaving Cert candidates, on the back of the baby boom in the early 2000s, is likely a key factor …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 14 December]

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