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Norma Foley confirms Leaving Cert exams to go ahead with ‘changes’ and gives update on face masks for children

Education Minister Norma Foley confirmed that the Cabinet agreed to hold the graduation certificate and junior course for this year as exams only.

Minister Foley rejected calls for a hybrid Leaving Cert despite calls from students and opposition parties.

Minister Foley said students will take their exams in June, but that there will be “dramatic changes”.

“There will now be more choice on paper and less content to be studied,” she said.

For example, I explained that students would normally have to answer 10 questions on their math paper but now they would only answer six.

She said in the upper-level exam for the English Language Paper 2, there are usually three questions that students need to answer, but they will now only be asked to answer two.



Education Minister Norma Foley TD during the launch of Level 2 Standing Awareness Week at Marino College, 14-20 Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin. BeLonG Youth Services. BeLonG To, the national LGBTI+ youth organisation, invites all second-level students in Ireland to be an ally and advocate for the LGBTI+ community using words that have the power to heal, not hurt.

She said the changes go beyond the exam papers themselves and students will also have to study only 10 Saraith Pictir instead of 20.

Junior course exams will also be held for the first time since 2019.

Minister Foley said there was not enough data for accredited grades this year because one in four students “without fault” do not have Junior Cert results.

Minister Foley also said there is a plan to tackle grading inflation that has caused major disruption and has seen some students get top marks but miss their university place.

She said that the grade file obtained by students in this year’s exams will be similar to last year’s file.

Therefore, a similar number of H1s, H2s, etc. should be awarded to students this year compared to 2021.

The department hopes that this will address one of the main concerns of this year’s students, in which they compete for university places against last year’s students who scored high.

Minister Foley also confirmed that an alternative set of drop-off exams will be conducted after the main set of exams to provide students who may be experiencing family bereavement or COVID-19 illness.

Minister Foley also said “there is an obligation” to review the wearing of face masks for children in school before the end of this month “which is important.”

She said the close contact rules will also be reviewed in accordance with public health advice for children aged 12 to 15 who have been fully vaccinated.

Minister Foley said schools are “progressing well” when asked for an update on the transmission of Covid-19 in schools.

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