There will not be an accredited Leaving Cert grading system next year, under plans currently being considered by the Department of Education.
Education Minister Norma Foley told The Hard Shoulder instead, exams could see a 'second sitting' for those who cannot attend the first time around.
Minister Foley says special arrangements are being made for sixth years.
"Accommodations are being made for them on foot of the loss of in-person learning.
"But equally so we've made the determination that there will be a second running of Leaving Certificate as well."
She says this could mean students being able to defer June exams to a later date.
"There will be a sitting of Leaving Certificate exam made available at the usual time in June, but we are looking at the potential of a second sitting of Leaving Certificate as well.
"It is to recognise that there may well be situations where, if we are currently within a pandemic, where students may not be able to sit the exam the first time round.
"There may well be a family bereavement or whatever, or some impact.
"So for that reason we are making the provision, at this point anyway, for a second sitting of the exams."
She says these plans do not include accredited grades: "We're not currently looking at the accredited grades system.
"But as I say, we'll keep everything under review".
'Planning for the full return'
On the return to schools she says while the situation is subject to change, it is likely to look the same as last year.
"We are planning for the full return, we engage on a consistent basis with public health.
"We have made it clear that we are continuing to operate in COVID, as it were, and that's the advice that we're receiving from public health."
She says she is hopeful that schools will be able to move beyond the pandemic, but not quite yet.
"We are currently still within the pandemic, and so all the provisions that need to be in our school network, we are very confident and very sure that we will put those in place by making the resources available.
"So we will operate as we have operated".
But she says the plans are subject to change depending on the situation.
"We are resilient enough and flexible enough to react to the public health advice as it becomes available to us.
"So if public health advise differently, then we will operate differently.
"But we are moving positively through it - and the vaccination is supporting that - so we are looking forward to brighter days.
"We can see society opening up... and we will see the benefit of the vaccination within the schools as well".