On 11th February, the ASTI withdrew from ongoing bilateral discussions regarding a new phase of planning for the State Examinations 2021 to include both the provision of Leaving Certificate examinations and also to explore a corresponding non-examination process.
At subsequent engagements with the Minister for Education and her officials, the ASTI raised its concerns about doubts that had been put forward regarding the staging of additional component elements of this year’s Leaving Certificate examinations (coursework, orals, practical exams, etc.) and the consequent relegation of the Leaving Certificate to a secondary position.
The Minister was unequivocal in her statement of commitment to holding the Leaving Certificate this year. On that basis, the ASTI believes that doubts regarding the staging of additional component elements of this year’s Leaving Certificate Examinations have been substantially alleviated. We expect the Minister to ensure that they will take place.
The ASTI also raised the issue of a lack of data available in many schools to base and inform the parallel/corresponding measure which the Minister is seeking to put in place alongside the Leaving Certificate. The Minister has committed to working with stakeholders to strengthen the position in this regard.
In addition, the ASTI has been assured that the requirement for teachers to provide a list of their students in rank order of merit, like they did last year, will not feature in any corresponding/parallel measure that may be implemented this year.
ASTI will engage constructively
On the basis of the foregoing, the ASTI will now re-enter the bilateral discussions process. We will continue to constructively engage to seek to ensure ways are found to facilitate this year’s Leaving Certificate students in moving on with their lives.