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Leaving Cert oral exams and practical music exams to be deferred until Easter break

It was decided that the exams will take place outside of school time over the first week of the school Easter holidays.

Image: Leah Farrell

THIS YEAR’S LEAVING CERTIFICATE oral examinations and practical music examinations are being deferred until the first week of school Easter holidays in April 2022. 

This announcement comes after the Department of Education and the State Examinations Commission (SEC) today hosted an online meeting of the advisory group of stakeholders on planning for the 2022 State exams.

The group, which previously provided advice in relation to the 2020 and 2021 State Examinations, includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the SEC, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the Department of Further and Higher Education and the Department of Education, including the National Educational Psychological Service.

At today’s meeting, the group discussed the arrangements for Leaving Certificate Oral Examinations in Irish and the Modern Foreign Languages and the practical performance tests in Leaving Certificate Music.

It was decided that these exams will take place outside of school time over the first week of the school Easter holidays, with the examinations running in schools during the six-day period Saturday 9 April to Thursday 14 April inclusive.

Working with the SEC, and the examiners assigned to the school in each subject, schools will have some flexibility in scheduling the examinations during this period based on local needs, the Department said. 

“Providing clarity to students on the timing of the examinations will assist them in planning their study and break times. Running the oral examinations before Easter will leave students free over the second week of the Easter holidays,” the Department said in a statement.

It added that all aspects of the examinations will be conducted in accordance with the prevailing Public Health advice.

It is envisaged that holding these examinations over Easter and outside of school time will minimise disruption for schools and students.

The Department said it will also help to ensure that greater numbers of teachers can participate in this important examining work without impacting on teacher supply.

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It is planned that the Junior Cycle Music practical performance test and the Home Economics practical test will take place during school time as normal.

The advisory group also received an update on preparation of the Department’s Action Plan for Education 2022.

The group will meet again in the New Year.

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