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Leah Farrell/
Leaving Cert 2021

Schools allocated supports to appoint aides to oversee Leaving Certificate admin for 50 days

The aides’ role is to support the school in planning and running exams and accredited grades.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS CAN appoint an aide for around 50 days over the coming months to oversee the running of exams and accredited grades for the Leaving Certificate.

The Department of Education has confirmed that it is providing additional supports for schools by increasing the number of days allocated for aides.

The aides’ role is to support the school in planning and running exams and accredited grades.

Schools with 120 or fewer students sitting the Leaving Cert can allocate an aide for eight days of planning and administrating oral exams; 10 days for  planning and organising exams; 10 days for June examinations; and 20 days for accredited grades.

In schools with 120 or more sixth year students, the allocation rises to ten and twelve days for the first two criteria respectively.

Five days are reservable to the principal.

A further eight days are conditionally available to support running exams on Saturdays in may and opening schools on Sundays in June.

The rate of payment per day is €146.19.

Minister for Education Norma Foley said that she is “pleased to be able to provide schools with additional supports by increasing significantly the number of days for which they can appoint an aide to support both the running of examinations and the work required for the Accredited Grades process”.

“It is a challenging time for schools and these measures recognise the unique circumstances of this year and the additional work involved in planning and running the examinations safely, in line with public health advice,” Foley said.

“They also recognise that certain work is being done during the Easter holiday period to protect tuition times for students to the greatest extent possible, given the disruption experienced to students already,” she said.

Sixth year students have the option this year to choose between sitting written exams, receiving accredited grades, or both.

If a student chooses both, the best mark of the two options is the one that will be included on their final results.

The written exams are running from 9 June, starting with English Paper One, until the end of the month.

Oral exams are starting tomorrow and are being held until 15 April.

Last week, it emerged that there were plans to avoid masks during the oral exams by placing a perspex screen between the student and the interviewer, but Foley confirmed yesterday that masks must be worn during the exams.

“It is important that both students and staff feel comfortable during the oral examinations interviews this year,” she said.

“In addition to very clear public health advice issued last week, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) has introduced a requirement for both interviewer and student to wear face masks during the entirety of the interview, except in cases where students are already exempted from wearing masks. ”

Sixth years returned to physical classes at the start of March for the first time since Christmas.

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