Minister must publish Leaving Cert health and legal advice

09 May 2020

Labour Party Education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called on the Minister for Education to publish the health and legal advice concerning the cancellation of the Leaving Certificate.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“Following yesterday’s announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills that the Leaving Cert is going to be cancelled in 2020 in favour of a predicted grading model.

“There are several legal issues outstanding with the Government’s decision on the Leaving Certificate. Under  our current laws, the Minister is obliged to hold a state examination of secondary school students, it still is unclear if predicted/calculated grading will meet that requirement.

“Students need to be assured that their results of Leaving Cert 2020 will have exactly the same status as previous years.

“Legal questions still remain if the Government will need to bring in legislation surrounding the proposed predicted/calculated grading system.

“The Minister for Education needs to publish the legal advice that was provided to Government on this – so we can be absolutely assured that the legal criteria is indeed satisfied.

“I think it would be beneficial for the Government to publish the health advice they received on cancelling the exams. It will give schools a greater insight into how the can expect to open schools in late August as per the Government’s roadmap.

“We can only assume that NPHET gave clear advice on this issue, but judging by the Chief Medical Officer’s comments during an extensive RTÉ interview yesterday, it is not clear how extensive the advice was and if was even given at all because we don’t have access to recent NPHET minutes.

“We need additional information to understand the rational and the legal and health implications of the advice given.”

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