Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.38 22 Apr 2020


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Education Minister Joe McHugh has said the Government is aiming to start the Leaving Certificate on July 29th.

He made the comments while taking questions from students in an Instagram live session with the youth organisation SpunOut on Tuesday night.

He says he hopes to confirm the date of the exams in the next couple of days.

The exams have been pushed back from their usual start date of early June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students have already been told they will automatically be awarded full marks in their oral exams, which were cancelled.

The deadline for submission of project work and coursework in a number of subjects was also pushed out.

Several alternatives to holding the exams have been floated, including a predictive grading system for students based off previous work.

But Minister McHugh says this is not being considered as an option due to any risk of bias.

He also says his department will look at concerns raised over the financial cost of sitting the exams.

"I will be in a position in a couple of days time to confirm that date... the date that we're going to be looking at is that Wednesday the 29th of July".

"We want to make this happen and this is not wanting to make it happen to put a burden on young people - we want to make it happen is because we've looked at the predictive grading [and] we don't feel it's fair.

"We feel there's too much in here in bias."

"We're taking into consideration the difficulties people have, the financial pressures people are under.

"This is an issue that has come across my desk... and I don't want to create expectations around this, but I will have a conversation with my officials on this matter.

"I know there will be families in difficult positions in terms of finances and all that - so something I certainly will take on-board".

Main image: Education Minister Joe McHugh speaking to the media as he visited the National Parents Council Helpline in Croke Park in August 2019. Photo by: RollingNews.ie

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