Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Questions (161, 162)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

161. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Education and Skills the membership of the advisory group of stakeholders set up to assist in planning for the State examinations since the outbreak of Covid-19; the mechanisms in place for students to input to the work of the advisory group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5624/20]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

162. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Education and Skills the dates on which the advisory group of stakeholders met to discuss the State examinations since the outbreak of Covid-19; and if he will publish the minutes of the meetings and recommendations of the group. [5625/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 161 and 162 together.

As part of planning for the State examinations, I established an advisory group of stakeholders, including representatives of students, parents, teachers, the management and leadership of schools, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the State Examinations Commission, and officials of my Department, including the National Educational Psychological Service. A representative of the Higher Education Authority also attends all meetings of the Advisory Group as an observer. This group has provided very useful feedback and assistance regarding the decision-making about the examinations. I wish to acknowledge the positive engagement with unions, management bodies, the further education and training and higher education sectors on all of the issues involved.

The Advisory Group held meetings on the following dates: 17, 22, 24 and 29 April, and 1, 6, 13 and 15 May. Further meetings are planned. Details of the Advisory Group on Contingency Planning for State Examinations 2020 have been published on my Department’s website. The webpage contains details on the purpose of the group, the terms of reference and the membership of the group. The webpage also includes a link to meeting documentation and agreed  minutes of meetings.  

Question No. 163 answered with Question No. 149.