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Education Minister

Leaving Cert exams most likely to start on 29 July, Joe McHugh says

McHugh said that if there is a Plan B for the Leaving Cert, it will be made during the first week in June.

MINISTER FOR EDUCATION Joe McHugh has said that 29 July was the most likely date by which the Leaving Cert examinations would take place.

The State exams have been deferred until later in the year, while the Junior Cert has been cancelled entirely, in favour of school-based assessments in September.

In an Instagram Live interview with SpunOut, McHugh said that as things stood now, the Leaving Cert exam would take place, and that predictive grades were deemed an unfair method to assess sixth-year students.

“We’re looking at potentially the last week in July, the 29 July,” McHugh said.

“We’re going to be looking at the traditional format of starting on a Wednesday so students don’t face a full five days of exams in their first week.”

“So I’ll be confirming that in a couple of days time, if that is the decision and the date.” 

He said that Plan A at the moment is to make sure the Leaving Cert happens. 

“The first week of June will be confirmation of what will happen, how it will happen, when it will happen,” he said. If there is a Plan B for the Leaving Cert, it will be made during that first week of June.

McHugh said that he had pushed for a decision to be made earlier than that, but that it wasn’t possible because a decision needed to be made based on the cases and spread of the virus in that moment in time.

On project and practical work, McHugh said that they were now looking at the details, including art projects and woodwork “which would require students to come into the classroom”.

He said that there would be a “common sense solution” on this, and said that they would make sure that practical and project work won’t clash with written work.

McHugh also said that he will be making an announcement in the next two days about IT support for secondary-school students, as well as wellbeing supports for students.

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