September results date too late for most Leaving Cert students
Labour Education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has sharply criticised the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, for the unnecessary delay in publishing the results of Leaving Cert 2023.
Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:
“Providing Leaving Cert results in September is an unnecessary delay at the start of the academic year and will only serve to create more anxiety for students who have already endured so much over the last number of years.
“This is the second year in a row that Leaving Cert students are being forced to wait too long for results of exams that have always taken place in June.
“We’re completely out of kilter with the European norm, all of whom have returned to the normal timeline for end of year exams. The Minister seemed to indicate that the second sitting of exams, brought in due to the pandemic, will take place again this year, despite the fact that community transmission of Covid is largely under control.
“If it is this second sitting that is pushing out the results date, it must be looked at and addressed.
“As evidenced this September, the decision to delay the results is simply unworkable. This decision will unnecessarily push students into snap decisions, with no space for reflection, organisation, orientation or to secure decent accommodation.
“In the midst of a severe housing crisis we find this utterly unacceptable. Many parents and prospective students have already contacted my office saying they are forced to hand out deposits for accommodation in Limerick, Galway and Dublin, unsure of their final location until results are issued. Traditionally students have up to six weeks to reflect and figure out the practicalities. If results are issued in September, there’ll only be a matter of days.
“Students and parents need to be given ample time and space to reflect on their results and what that means for their future. No one should be bounced into further education when a better option may be to repeat their leaving cert, do an apprenticeship or go straight into the workforce. People need a chance to organise themselves and secure accommodation. Similarly, colleges need time to prepare for student orientation.
“The September date didn’t work for the class of 2022 and it is just not going to work for the class of 2023. It is that simple. Minister Foley and Minister Harris are going to have to open lines of communication with schools, students and parents immediately.”