News & Media

Labour launch survey on Leaving Cert reform

11 March 2021

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade

Labour education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD has launched a consultation into the Leaving Certificate process at it currently stands.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“It’s time to reform the Leaving Cert. In advance of the Oireachtas Education Committee holding hearings on reform, the Labour Party want to gather views on the future of the exams. Many students are made to feel like the Leaving Cert will dictate their whole lives. The experience of predicted grades and continuous assessment the past two years has proven that change is possible and a better approach must be explored in consultation with all stakeholders.

“We are hearing anecdotal evidence from higher education institutions that this year’s first years are performing much better than had been anticipated, given their experience of home studying. Institutions are highlighting the fundamental resilience of our young people to adapt to new ways of learning and engaging with material.

“In light of this, and in order to redress the imbalance that currently exists in the 'be all and end all' exams currently in place, I believe the time to have a conversation on the future of our education system is now. Today, I am launching a survey on Leaving Cert reform and I would call on all young people to have their voices heard on the issue.

“In any approach to reforming the current system, the Labour Party wants to represent the voices of young people and students’ who have recently gone through the process. We need to better understand young people’s thoughts and concerns and try our best to eliminate the huge levels of anxiety associated with the Leaving Cert year. This consultation is an opportunity to engage in a debate on the future of the education system in Ireland, putting student voices at the heart of this.

“We need an education system that works for our young people; one that develops skills and pathways to a range of options for graduates from apprentices to PLCs to university. We must be guided by our young people in this process.”

 

ENDS

 

The consultation is available at this link: https://www.labour.ie/leaving_cert