14 December, 2020 – Second meeting held of Advisory Group on planning for state examinations 2021

A second meeting of the advisory group of stakeholders on planning for the state examinations 2021 was held online today, Monday 14 December.  


The group includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission (SEC), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and the Department of Education, including the National Educational Psychological Service.


As discussed at the Advisory Group meeting on 25th November, it is the firm intention of the Department and the Minister to hold the 2021 examinations with appropriate contingency and public health measures in place. At this meeting, the Minister requested that all members of the Advisory Group share their expertise and experience in relation to these arrangements.


As such, at today’s meeting the group received a presentation from the State Examinations Commission on possible arrangements for various components of the 2021 examinations in the context of Covid-19. There was a discussion of how these challenges can be met. These discussions will resume when the group next meets in January 2021.


The group was also advised of clarifications to the assessment arrangements for the 2021 state examinations which originally issued to schools in August. These clarifications, and a small number of adjustments, take account of comments received from stakeholders and will be sent to schools shortly.


The group was also advised of additional flexibility in the arrangements for the completion of coursework where such measures are required to support students due to Covid-19. Details of these arrangements will shortly be issued to schools by the SEC.