Thursday, 23 September 2021

Questions (172)

Richard Bruton


172. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Education if she has received proposals from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment on reform of the leaving certificate; if the experience of the assessment of students during the Covid-19 pandemic will allow more radical revisions than originally anticipated be made; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44810/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Between 2016 and 2020, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) undertook an extensive review of senior cycle programmes and vocational pathways, to include Transition Year, the Leaving Certificate Applied, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and the Leaving Certificate Established.

The review involved a very broad range of research, consultations and communications with a wide range of stakeholders, on all aspects of review and redevelopment over a number of phases over the period of the review. The NCCA also commissioned external expertise to support the process, including the ESRI and the OECD.

The Advisory Report, maps out, in broad terms, an ambitious programme of work, which would enable the development and construction of the components that would make up a Framework for Senior Cycle and will involve further ongoing stakeholder engagement and consultation.

The NCCA’s Senior Cycle Review: Advisory Report has been submitted to my Department for consideration and will be published in the coming weeks.

My department is also aware of the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our education system over the past two years, including its impact on students who were due to take their Leaving Certificate examinations in those years. The systems of Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades and SEC-Accredited Grades which operated for Leaving Certificate 2020 and 2021 respectively were introduced to assist candidates in those years to progress on their journey to further or higher education, to apprenticeships or to the world of work. I expect that the lessons to be learnt from the pandemic will be considered and where appropriate, will assist in informing the redevelopment of Senior Cycle.