Minister loses appeals over home-schooled Leaving Cert students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education has lost her appeals over findings two home-schooled students were unfairly and unlawfully excluded from the Leaving Certificate calculated grades process. In a 127-page judgment on Tuesday, the three judge Court of Appeal (COA), comprising Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly, Ms Justice Mary Faherty and Ms Justice Una Ní Raifeartaigh dismissed the appeals concerning High Court findings in separate cases by the two students …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Lobbying for Leaving Cert grades will break new law

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on February 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Anyone who tries to lobby a teacher in the hope of achieving favourable grades for a Leaving Cert student this year will be breaking the law. It is one of the measures to be included in legislation being introduced to support the twin-track approach to assessing 63,000 school-leavers in 2021. Lobbying by parents and students was actively discouraged last year and principals were advised to report any such incidents to the education authorities …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 18 February]

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Junior Cert is likely to be cancelled to allow focus on Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on February 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“This year’s Junior Cert exams for 60,000 students look likely to be cancelled after education authorities confirmed that it will not be possible to hold the exams alongside the Leaving Cert in June. It seems likely that alternative assessment arrangements will be implemented for Junior Cert students this year, in a similar manner to last year, according to a number of well-placed sources …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 February]

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Leaving Cert talks between Government and teacher unions to continue

Posted in Teaching on February 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Intensive talks between the Government and teacher unions will continue on Monday in a bid to find agreement on this year’s Leaving Cert State exam. Both sides held confidential discussions throughout the weekend, but Government sources said there was no certainty that agreement could be reached in time for Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Sarah Burns, Simon Carswell and Anne Lucey, Irish Times, 15 February]

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Government prepared to go ahead with Leaving Cert planning without ASTI support

Posted in Teaching on February 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government says it is determined to press ahead with planning for the Leaving Cert this year, with or without the agreement of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI). Despite the union’s decision to pull out of planning talks for the exams this week, a spokesman for Minister for Education Norma Foley said planning will continue this weekend as the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to disrupt the Leaving Cert for a second year …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 13 February]

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ASTI agrees to fresh talks with Foley after quitting Leaving Cert negotiations

Posted in Teaching on February 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Fresh talks aimed at resolving a row over plans for the Leaving Cert exams are due to begin on Friday between the Minister for Education and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI). The union’s decision to pull out of confidential discussions over the exams on Thursday threatened to derail the Government’s plans to provide clarity for tens of thousand of students early next week …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 February]

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More than 550 students who sat postponed Leaving Cert to get improved CAO offers

Posted in Governance and administration on February 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“More than 550 students who sat the postponed Leaving Cert are to receive improved CAO offers this week on foot of securing improved grades in the written exams. A total of 2,000 students who sat the Leaving Cert written exams in November and December received their results last week. Almost 40% of grades achieved were higher than those given through the calculated grade process …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 February]

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Norma Foley announces two-track approach to Leaving Certificate

Posted in Teaching on February 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Norma Foley has announced a two-track approach to the Leaving Cert. It will involve exams and a second, non-exam process, the details of which have to be worked out …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 5 February]

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What ‘alternative options’ are under review for 2021 Leaving Cert?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 30th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It is the question 60,000 students and their parents all want to know: what’s going to happen with the Leaving Cert? Until recently, Minister for Education Norma Foley said it was the Government’s ‘firm intention’ to press ahead with traditional exams. Now, however, the Department of Education is examining ‘possible alternative options’ …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 29 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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Extra College Places Here to Stay, Says Harris

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has confirmed that the thousands of extra college places introduced this year because of the pandemic are here to stay. Harris will also introduce 2,000 additional higher education places this year ‘to deal with the demographic pressures’ that the sector is currently facing …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 15 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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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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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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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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Ministers Foley and Harris publish Education Indicators 2020 report: facts and figures on all aspects of the education system

Posted in Research on December 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science today announced the publication of Education Indicators 2020 – a special report which sets out to provide a comprehensive set of educational indicators for the education system in Ireland. The data in the report cover all levels of education …” (more)

[Department of Education, 28 December]

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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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Education Minister failed to keep Leaving Cert ‘fair and accurate’, court hears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education breached commitments to keep the 2020 Leaving Certificate fair and accurate and comparable to other years’ results by not including historical school data in the calculated grade process, the High Court has heard …” (more)

[Independent, 9 December]

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Minister breached commitments to keep Leaving Cert ‘fair and accurate’, court told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 8th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education breached commitments to keep the 2020 Leaving Certificate fair and accurate, and comparable to other years results, in failing to include historical school data in the calculated grade process, the High Court has been told …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 8 December]

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