24 April, 2020 - Department of Education and Skills statement on stakeholder engagement in relation to the State Examinations

The Department of Education and Skills today (Friday 24 April 2020) hosted a third meeting with a range of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures.

The advisory group of stakeholders includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission, the National Educational Psychological Service, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and the Department.

The Higher Education Authority attends meetings in an observer capacity, to assist feeding back to consultations it is involved with across the third level sector.

The meeting reviewed progress being made in relation to the development of a range of supports for the wellbeing of students, and welcomed the launch today by the Taoiseach of the #InThisTogether Campaign to support the wellbeing of all of our citizens at this time.

The SEC provided an update on the work in progress on the holding of the Leaving Certificate examinations scheduled to commence on 29th July.

Today’s meeting also considered issues concerning Junior Cycle Assessment, in the context of the decision that the state Junior Cycle examinations will not run this year. These discussions will continue when the group meets next week.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD said: “I am grateful to all of the stakeholders who are working so closely with the Department and the State Examinations Commission to ensure an outcome that has students’ best interests at heart, and we will continue our discussions over the coming days and weeks.

“I welcome the progress made in several areas today, including issues concerning the Junior Cycle final examinations. As I stated earlier this week, I would urge schools not to make any local decisions concerning assessment at junior cycle level until the Advisory Group has concluded its discussions on that part of its work.”