11 May 2022, 17.12
The Joint Committee on Education, Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science has published its Report on Leaving Certificate Reform and the need for a new Senior Cycle in which it makes a series of recommendations following examination of the issue.
Speaking on the report, Deputy Paul Kehoe, Cathaoirleach of the Committee said “The Covid 19 pandemic forced seismic changes in the education system and the Leaving Certificate went ahead despite serious challenges. The Committee is of the strong view that now is the opportune time to fundamentally reform the Senior Cycle for the benefit of students, teachers and indeed, wider society”.
Deputy Kehoe said “The Committee sought and received written submissions from a wide range of stakeholders. The quality of the evidence based on comprehensive research findings and the knowledge and insights provided were of tremendous assistance in preparing this report”.
The Deputy added “Arising from this, the Committee examined the evidence heard and the submissions received and drew up this Report containing concrete and feasible recommendations. The Committee genuinely believes these can be implemented without delay and will have a transformative impact on the Senior Cycle. The Committee is committed to ensuring these recommendations are implemented as expeditiously as possible. The Joint Committee also requests that the issues raised in this report be the subject of a debate in both Houses of the Oireachtas.”
You can read the Report on Leaving Certificate Reform and the need for a new Senior Cycle here.
Key recommendations in the report include:
- The Leaving Certificate should be renamed the Senior Certificate following on from the Junior Certificate to clearly demonstrate that it is a transformed Senior Cycle.
- As part of Senior Cycle reform, a key priority for the Department of Education must be that the revised syllabus for each subject is far more detailed with comprehensive instructions for teachers.
- Modularisation should be introduced for all subjects.
- All Senior Cycle students should have the option of combining traditional Leaving Certificate (LC) and Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) Subjects.
- The Department of Education should develop A National Online Learning Programme, to be rolled out to all primary and secondary schools, as a matter of urgent priority,
- The provision of school-based emotional counselling and therapeutic support services
- All Primary and Post Primary Schools should have a School Library, School Librarian and full access to the School Digital Library Service.
- The proposed L1 and L2 Specifications in Irish at Senior Cycle should be reviewed further with a view to aligning it with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science should establish A Task Force on Entry to Higher Education to consider the future entry level requirements to third level education with the CAO integral to any structural reforms.
- The Curriculum should also prepare students for Apprenticeships, Further Education and entering the Workplace, with Guidance Counsellors playing a pivotal role here.
- Introducing an Apprenticeship Communications Campaign and Apprenticeship Information Days in all Post Primary Schools