News & Media

Clarity on Choice for Class of 2021 Welcome

17 February 2021

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade
  • Congratulations must be extended to the students and ISSU on their campaign for choice
  • School profiling must be ruled out now

Education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has cautiously welcomed the news that clarity will be provided to the Leaving Cert class of 2021. Reacting to the announcement, Deputy Ó Ríordáin welcomed the work of all stakeholders and congratulated the students and ISSU on their campaign for choice.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“We welcome the news that a decision has been reached and that clarity will be provided to the Class of 2021. There has been enough anxiety amongst students around the country and their biggest ask has been for certainty. This decision has followed the hard work of all stakeholders and the involvement of the State Examinations Commission is to be welcomed. I want to congratulate all students and ISSU on their campaign to have their voices heard and we now must work to ensure that the students are at the heart of the political process to implement this plan.

“The Labour Party is ready to work with Government make this process a success and the Minister must rule out school profiling for calculated grades now.

“A key concern we have is that the independent review of last year’s Leaving Cert has not taken place. Had this happened, we would not have found ourselves wading through this uncertainty for the past number of months.

“Once full agreement is reached on this plan, the Minister needs to focus her attention on reopening schools where it is safe and possible to do so. Parents are deeply frustrated with school closures, while teachers remain uneasy about how safe it will be to return and we need to work together and consider all available options.

“This whole debacle further highlights the urgent need for the Government to commence a consultation process on reforming the Leaving Cert. It’s clear that it’s no longer fit for purpose and that alternative, and perhaps more effective, methods of assessing students exists.

“On the whole, this news is positive and we should praise the hard work of the Minister, her Department and all partners in education for achieving clarity for the Class of 2021. We will work with Government to make this process as successful as possible.”