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Minister for Education says teachers are not obliged to base calculated LC grades on mock exams


By Megan Burns
21st May 2020
Minister for Education says teachers are not obliged to base calculated LC grades on mock exams

Minister for Education Joe McHugh told the Dáil yesterday that mock exams would not dictate predicted grades, and will reveal guidelines today for how teachers are to calculate predicted Leaving Certificate marks. 


Since it was announced that students would not sit Leaving Certificate exams this year, and instead receive predicted grades from their teachers, there has been much talk of the fate of students who didn’t perform well in mock exams.

Minister for Education Joe McHugh has hopefully provided some relief to such students as he stressed yesterday that mock exams did not have to be considered by a teacher in calculating a student’s grade.

He wanted to make it clear that a mock exam result would be just one of many things a teacher could take into consideration when calculating a predicted grade. While he said that ultimately any existing form of assessment “can be used” by a teacher, he stressed the final mark would be decided by the teacher’s professional judgement, taking more than just mock exams into account.

Guidelines outlining how exactly teachers and schools should determine predicted Leaving Certificate grades will be released today. This will hopefully give students as well as teachers some clarity on how the process will work.

The minister also gave some more information on the planning process that is underway to get schools to reopen in September. He emphasised that a “one size fits all” approach would not be appropriate here, and that it will be “a massive logistical operation”.

He touched on several options that could be feasible, including only small groups attending at a time or a phased return for students. With Cambridge University announcing all its lectures will be online next year, many Irish third-level students have wondered if their colleges will announce similar measures, and if so what this will mean for their courses.

McHugh stressed that all decisions would be based on public health advice, and that he has been in consultation with the HSE and Bus Éireann in the process of devising these plans, to ensure that whatever plan emerges is safe and feasible.

He added that the department was taking note of the experience of other countries where children have already returned to school, including France, Denmark and Greece.

Featured image: Photo by Ivan Aleksic


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