Deputy Denis Naughten

Leaving Cert students 'need clarity on accredited grades' says TD

A TD for Roscommon-Galway has called on the Government to make a swift decision about whether or not accredited grades will be used in this year's Leaving Certificate.

Deputy Denis Naughten pointed to the impact of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in recent weeks, and said Leaving Cert students had "enough to contend with, without having to worry about the format of the exam itself."

The Independent TD said many students preparing for the Leaving Cert in June were "asking that they be given the option of accredited grades just like the last two exam classes."

Denis Naughten raised the issue on the floor of the Dáil with the Taoiseach last November, after receiving a request to do so from a Roscommon Leaving Cert student who felt the Leaving Cert class of 2022 had been forgotten about by the Department of Education.

"Even though I raised this specific issue in the Dáil last May, and received reassurances from the Minister for Education, students are very anxious about the forthcoming exams," he commented.

"This has now been compounded by the impact that the Omicron variant is having on exam students who will have to isolate as a result of the present surge of infection.

"I also raised these concerns directly with the Minister for Education, who stated that: 'the State Examinations Commission will issue further details regarding the 2022 examinations, guided by prevailing public health advice. There will be further engagement with stakeholders, through the Advisory Group on Planning for the State Examinations, and with other stakeholders as appropriate, in advance of any detailed announcement.'"

Deputy Naughten concluded by saying it was "imperative that there is now a swift decision on the use of accredited grades for this year’s Leaving Certificate exams as students have enough to contend with, without having to worry about the format of the exam itself."

You can watch his November Dáil exchange with Taoiseach Micheál Martin on this issue here: