As Minister for Education and Skills, I was delighted to announce the extension by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) of the provisions of the Scheme of Reasonable Accommodations at the Certificate Examinations (RACE Scheme), under which the SEC introduced a limited provision for supporting Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied candidates who experience the death of a close relative during the period of the written examinations. The SEC has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations
Under this new arrangement, if a close relative of a Leaving Certificate or Leaving Certificate Applied candidate dies, the candidate will be allowed to defer up to three days of their examinations and to take the examinations that they defer at an alternative sitting of the examinations in July.
This arrangement has been brought in on an interim, pilot basis and will be subject to review. As part of that review, the SEC will conduct extensive consultation regarding the existing RACE scheme provisions for Leaving Certificate candidates experiencing other forms of trauma and adversity at examination time. Any extension to the current arrangement needs to take account of, not only the difficult life circumstances in which individual candidates find themselves, but also the need to be fair to the body of candidates taking examinations generally and to maintain the integrity of the examinations process.