As already outlined to the House, in recent weeks I attended a meeting with the advisory group on State examinations, which is representative of students, parents, teachers, managerial bodies, the further and higher education sector and the State Examinations Commission. Following on from this meeting, I met with the members of the advisory group on a one-to one or bilateral basis and also had further engagement with each of them thereafter. I listened carefully to what each of these stakeholders had to say and examined each of their points.
Following consideration of this matter by the Government today, I announced the decision to operate an examinations approach for the leaving certificate class of 2022, with significant further adjustments to the examinations and to provide students with a commitment that the overall results of leaving certificate 2022 will not be lower than in 2021. As the Deputy may be aware, it would not have been possible to run accredited grades in the same manner as had been done last year as junior cycle data was unavailable for 25%, or one in four, of our students.
The further extensive changes I have announced to the examination papers over and above those announced in August 2021 mean that candidates have greater choice in the papers, have less questions to answer and still have the same amount of time as in a normal year to complete the examination. For example, as I have previously outlined, in mathematics, where students would traditionally have ten questions to answer, they now have only six. This is in addition to previously announced changes such as the running of the oral examinations and music practical over the first week of the Easter break.
Timeframes for certain assessment elements of the leaving certificate applied examinations have also been pushed out. Schools were also reminded of the flexibilities regarding the dates for completion and authentication of examination coursework. I have also confirmed that junior cycle examinations will take place this summer, which I think is also important. Adjustments to the assessment arrangements for junior cycle were published previously and provide for more teaching time in schools. As I outlined earlier, they include a reduction in the number of classroom-based assessments, the removal of the requirement to complete the assessment tasks and adjustments to the requirements in coursework and practical performance tests.
I believe that the decision will provide the junior cycle and leaving certificate students of 2022 with an opportunity for their learning and attainment at the end of their post-primary education to be assessed and to enable them to progress.