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State Examinations

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 27 May 2020

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Questions (122, 124, 134, 163, 170, 206)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

122. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the provisions being made for leaving certificate students that have been home schooled and may not have ever sat a formal exam in a formal school environment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7166/20]

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Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

124. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which students that sit non–curricular subjects such as Polish, Romanian and Russian will be accommodated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7168/20]

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Thomas Byrne

Question:

134. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the process by which a calculated grade will be provided to students that study a subject independently of a school. [7183/20]

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Cathal Crowe

Question:

163. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the leaving certificate for external candidates (details supplied). [7361/20]

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Joan Collins

Question:

170. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a hotline will be set up to assist external students (details supplied) in view of the fact they have not been contacted in relation to the leaving certificate 2020; if they will be written to; and if an announcement will be made in relation to the way in which grades for these students will be calculated. [7414/20]

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Noel Grealish

Question:

206. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the predictive grading system will work for leaving certificate students that are currently home schooled; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7719/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 122, 124, 134, 163, 170 and 206 together.

Where a student is studying one or more subjects outside of a recognised school, every effort should be made by the school to provide an estimated mark where the principal is confident that there is sufficient evidence of the student’s achievement to make an objective judgment. My Department will be flexible in accepting estimated marks and rankings from other schools or colleges, and will look at this issue on a case-by-case basis. All reasonable efforts should be made to obtain a satisfactory evidence base. This includes situations where students are studying subjects outside of school, including the non-curricular languages.

In the case of students taking a subject outside school, the detailed guidance for schools published on 21st May provides details of how schools should proceed if school management authorities are confident that there is sufficient evidence of the student’s achievement to make an objective judgement.

For students in receipt of home tuition with an association to the school, the guidance published on 21st May will provide information for school authorities to engage with the home tutor in arriving at a decision.

If the student is not being taught by a registered teacher, the principal will need to consider whether there is sufficient evidence on which to base an estimate. If there is not sufficient evidence, then it is highly unlikely that the Department will be able to generate a calculated grade for that subject.

In general, provided an estimated mark and ranking can be generated from a teacher in a way that is fair to all candidates, my Department will seek to provide a calculated grade. Students will be able to use this calculated grade in the same way as a Leaving Certificate grade to satisfy minimum entry requirements.

Where it is not possible to provide a calculated grade students will have the opportunity to sit the 2020 Leaving Certificate examination at a later date when it is safe to do so.

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