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Calls for Government to give clarity on junior cycle assessment plans

There are calls for the Government to provide clarity on the situation for junior cycle students,...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.01 25 Apr 2020


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Calls for Government to give c...

Calls for Government to give clarity on junior cycle assessment plans

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.01 25 Apr 2020


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There are calls for the Government to provide clarity on the situation for junior cycle students, amid reports that school assessments could begin as early as next month.

It was confirmed earlier this month that the formal junior cycle exams had been cancelled for this year due to the coronavirus crisis, and would be replaced with school-based exams and assessments in the new school year.

However, The Irish Times today reports that plan could be abandoned in favour of school-based assessments in May.

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The paper reports that schools "will likely be given the freedom to decide on how best to arrange assessments for individual subjects".

It comes amid concerns over the potential impacts of delaying assessments until September - with the Leaving Cert already postponed until late July.

In a statement yesterday, the Department of Education said officials have discussed the issue of the junior cycle assessments and that "discussions will continue" next week.

Education Minister Joe McHugh urged schools to not make any "local decisions" until officials have finished their discussions.

However, the Labour Party is calling for clarity on the situation - saying the latest reports are "another example of leaks and disorganisation from the Department of Education and will lead to mass uncertainty".

The party's education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says proper communication is needed to give students, teachers and families clarity about the situation.

He said:  "The Leaving Cert has turned into a fiasco, and now we have a situation where a previously stated policy about the Junior Cert going ahead in September is now going to be left to individual schools to decide... and again it doesn't come from the Minister, it comes from a leak.

"I really feel the Minister of Education has to take control of the situation, and treat education partners with an awful lot more respect."

Main image: File photo. Picture by: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

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