Independent Inquiry into Leaving Cert debacle needed

02 October 2020
  • Non-statutory inquiry needed that would report by end of 2020.
  • Should report on processes, decision making and handling of replacement to written exam.
  • Recommendations needed for 2021, and report should be considered by Oireachtas Education Committee.

After the discovery of two serious errors in the calculated grades system, and the information revealed on Wednesday, and provided to the Dáil last night by the Minister, Labour Education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called for an independent, non-statutory inquiry into the 2020 Leaving Cert.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“There is now a need for an independent, non-statutory inquiry into the 2020 Leaving Certificate that would examine not just the processes, but also the decision making, and the handling of the issue by the Department, the Ministers, and the Government.

“Such an inquiry should be headed by an independent figure, either a retired Judge or Senior Counsel, or an expert in the field of education or public administration. It should report as quickly as possible with a deadline of the end of the year.

“What is required from the investigation is information on who knew what, an examination of the processes, when decisions were made, why mistakes were not found, and how we ended up in such a serious situation as revealed this week.

“We need to know who was responsible for the mistakes that happened, why they weren’t found, who made what decisions over recent months, and an examination of the handling of the issue by the government.

“Critically, there should be recommendations made then on how to ensure such a debacle does not occur again and what changes are needed in advance of the Leaving Cert in 2021 if it is not possible to provide a written exam again.

“It is essential that the Inquiry is independent of government, and the report of such an Inquiry should then be provided to the Dáil and any findings considered by the Oireachtas Committee on Education.

” The examples of the Travers Report into the illegal charging of fees in nursing homes on medical card holders, and Scally scoping inquiry into Cervical Check provide useful templates for the type of inquiry we now need into the Leaving Certificate.”

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