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Government reveals new plans for Leaving Cert and Junior Cert examinations

By Darragh Murphy

April 10, 2020 at 4:48pm

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The Government has given parents and Leaving Cert/Junior Cert students an update on when they can expect to sit their exams.

At a press conference on Friday afternoon, it was announced that the Leaving Cert will be postponed until late July or August due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Junior Cert, meanwhile, will be cancelled this summer and students will instead sit school-based tests later in the year.

Shortly after An Taoiseach extended current Government measures by a further three weeks, Minister for Education Joe McHugh spoke on the new plans for the Leaving and Junior Cert.

Minister McHugh explained his department's decision, revealing the importance of allowing Leaving Certificate students to receive some class-based school time before sitting their exams.

"These decisions are being taken in the best interests of our children, our young people, our schools and our wider society," Minister McHugh said.

"As part of the wider public health measures, schools will remain closed until further notice. We will only take the step to reopen schools when the public health advice assures us that it is appropriate to do so.

"I appreciate the efforts that parents around the country are making to teach their children at home, the work of teachers and lecturers to continue educating and the difficulties faced by all our young people in this situation.

"Junior Cycle final examinations, due to take place in June, will be replaced by school-based exams and assessments held early in the new school year. Discussions will take place with teachers' unions and school management to allow this unique arrangement to take place in what is a response to a national crisis.

"We are postponing Leaving Certificate examinations to begin in the last week of July or early August, subject to public health advice. Practical examinations for Leaving Certificate students, which were due to be held in May, are deferred. They will be rescheduled for late July/early August. The new Leaving Certificate exam timetable will be confirmed in early June."

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