School profiling cannot happen for Leaving Cert 2022

27 January 2022

Labour education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has demanded that the government commit to providing a Hybrid Leaving Cert without the use of school profiling. Pointing to the experience in Scotland in 2020, Deputy Ó Ríordáin said the use of school profiling will undermine the opportunity of students from poorer backgrounds.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“School profiling in any hybrid leaving cert process would be absolutely unacceptable and a complete betrayal of disadvantaged students. This proposal must be dropped immediately and unequivocally and the Minister must state it publicly this morning.

“Leaks of this nature are deeply unhelpful and just add to anxiety levels of students. The class of 2022 have been through enough over the past two years, missing out on in class learning as a result of rolling lockdowns and the substitution crisis. The Minister needs to make a decision once and for all and provide clarity to students and teachers alike.

“The Government needs to ensure that no student is adversely penalised because they come from a poorer background. For many students, the Leaving Cert will be their only chance to break the cycle of disadvantage and Minister Foley needs to ensure that this is not taken away from them.

“The former Minister for Education accused me of doing a disservice to disadvantaged schools when I raised this in 2020, but the experience in Scotland that led to the wide scale downgrading of the exam results of working class students when exam results were issued vindicates my criticisms. Government simply could not stand over the same thing happening here.

“There has been a swell of support from the this year’s leaving cert students for a hybrid leaving cert model to be used this year. We have been committed to working with government to achieve this for this year’s cohort, but I would be extremely concerned about any attempt by government to profile schools. School profiling is deeply unfair and would have the potential to leave students at a massive disadvantage.”

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