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State Examinations

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 27 May 2020

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Ceisteanna (123, 159, 166, 187, 190, 192, 211, 217, 296, 302)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Ceist:

123. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which students that change levels late in the academic year will be accommodated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7167/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brady

Ceist:

159. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which it is planned to use predicted grades for leaving certificate students that only moved to a new school in December 2019 and have never met their Irish and history teacher in view of the fact they were on maternity leave when they started in their new school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7319/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

166. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills the full arrangements in place in relation to students that were on the leaving certificate applied course; the arrangements in place for attendance; the provision which can be made to facilitate students in these situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7385/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

187. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a practical project will be examined as part of the grading for results in relation to the leaving certificate. [7548/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

190. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Education and Skills the arrangements for predictive marking for students that suffer from mental health issues (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7585/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peter Burke

Ceist:

192. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which a secondary student that does five subjects through school and two outside of school will have predicted grades for the two additional subjects when they do the subjects independently and autonomously; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7596/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brady

Ceist:

211. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills if CPD for teachers was formed as part of contingency planning for the State examinations; and if so, when it will be available. [7735/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brady

Ceist:

217. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the process his Department has followed in arriving at the announcement of the calculated grades model on 8 May 2020 was adequate in view of the fact that schools, principals and teachers are still awaiting clarification and a detailed guidance document. [7741/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

296. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Education and Skills the process for marking leaving certificate students if the teacher makes a professional assessment that they are not familiar enough with the student or their capacities and for the student to highlight these issues in such a case. [8209/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Crowe

Ceist:

302. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the calculated grades system will apply to students sitting the leaving certificate outside of a secondary school setting and are being facilitated by schools or further education colleges while studying independently; and if these students will have no option but to sit the exam at a later date yet to be announced and will be unable to take up third-level education in the 2020/2021 academic year. [8260/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 123, 159, 166, 187, 190, 192, 211, 217, 296 and 302 together. I published detailed guidance for schools on calculated grades on 21 May. The document sets out information on the process of estimating marks for students to receive calculated grades, and this has been sent to all schools. The document, together with Frequently Asked Questions, are available on my Department’s website. Further guidance and resources are being developed to support the implementation of Calculated Grades. These include an instructional video for teachers and information leaflets for schools and for parents/guardians.

Teachers are asked to use their professional judgement, drawing on existing records and available evidence to arrive at an estimated mark for each student.

If a student is new to a class or school, then the teacher should consult the previous teacher to obtain any relevant documentation. 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.

An on-line portal for students to confirm the subject level at which they initially entered for the examinations, or to change to a different level, is available since yesterday, Tuesday 26th May.

Leaving Certificate Applied students will be provided with calculated grades for subjects, tasks and vocational specialisms due to be completed in 2020.

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 judgement.

For subjects with a practical component, the overall estimate will include the mark that the teacher thinks would have been achieved if it had been marked in the usual way. There is one exception to this: in the case of Home Economics – Scientific and Social, the journal component has already been marked by the SEC, and this mark will not be adjusted.

I would like to reiterate that the teacher is the best placed person to examine the work of the student and give a balanced professional judgement, based on evidence, about the expected achievement of the student. Teacher professional judgement facilitates incorporating a range of available evidence as to the likely performance of students. Teachers know their students and are able to balance a variety of evidence in arriving at a professional judgement.

Question No. 124 answered with Question No. 122.
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