Advisory Group for Contingency Planning for State Examinations 2020

Who we are

Advisory Group for Contingency Planning for State Examinations 2020.

What we do

Advisory Group established to identify and advise the Minister and State Examinations Commission on altered arrangements for the running of the 2020 state examinations, the certification of students’ learning in 2020 and any consequential actions arising.

The expected timeframe for the group is April 2020 to September 2020. The group will meet twice weekly at the outset.

Terms of Reference

  • To enable all examination candidates to be enabled to demonstrate their learning achievements to their best ability despite the disruption to their learning caused by the Covid-19 crisis
  • All Leaving Certificate (LC) candidates to receive a fair recognition for their learning achievements so that they will be able to use their LC grades to seek entry to higher or further education or the world of work in autumn 2020
  • To minimise, as far as possible, the particular impact that school closures have had on the learning and examination performances of vulnerable groups of students. These include students from disadvantaged backgrounds (including students in homelessness or emergency accommodation, students in refugee/asylum seeker accommodation), students for whom remote learning has not worked well, and students with special educational needs
  • To care for students’ well-being by reducing any additional stress that may be caused for them by the Covid-19 crisis, including stress associated with uncertainty, disrupted learning, economic stress, family bereavements and pressures to gain places in higher and further education
  • To minimise any risks to the safety and health of students and their families, and to the safety and health of teachers and other school and SEC staff who enable them to participate in examinations or other assessments.


Designated Public Official (DPO): Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General, Department of Education (DE)

  • Chairperson: Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General, Department of Education (DE)
  • Reuban Murray, President, Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU)
  • Alison Dervan, Student Voice Development Manager, ISSU
  • Áine Lynch, Chief Executive, National Parents’ Council – Primary (NPC-P)
  • Mai Fanning President, National Parents’ Council – Post-Primary (NPC-PP)
  • Ann Piggott, President, Association of Secondary teachers Ireland (ASTI)
  • Kieran Christie, General Secretary, ASTI
  • Martin Marjoram, President, Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI)
  • Michael Gillespie, General Secretary, TUI
  • John Curtis, General Secretary, Joint Managerial Body (JMB)
  • John Irwin, General Secretary, Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (ACCS)
  • Nessa White General Secretary, Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI)
  • Clive Byrne, Chief Executive, National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD)
  • Aidan Farrell, Chief Executive, State Examinations Commission (SEC)
  • John Hammond, Chief Executive, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)
  • William Beausang, Assistant Secretary General, DFHERIS
  • Keith Moynes, Assistant Secretary General, DFHERIS
  • Andrea Feeney, Director, Calculated Grades Executive Office, DE
  • Anne Tansey, Director, National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)
  • Harold Hislop, Chief Inspector, DE
  • Deirdre Shanley, Assistant Secretary General, DE
  • Dalton Tattan, Assistant Secretary General, DE
  • Yvonne Keating, Deputy Chief Inspector, DE
  • Orlaith O’Connor, Assistant Chief Inspector, DE
  • Eamonn Moran, Principal Officer, DE
  • Ciara Molloy, Assistant Principal Officer, DE
  • Alan Wall, Chief Executive, Higher Education Authority (HEA), Observer


Meetings Documentation


Secretary: Ciara Molloy, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Unit 
Address: Department of Education, Block 2, Floor 1, Marlborough St, Dublin 1