17 May 2022

Flexible Leaving Certificate approach must be adopted, Kildare Senator says

Flexible Leaving Certificate approach must be adopted, Kildare Senator says

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One Senator from Kildare has thrown their support behind the prospect of a flexible Leaving Certificate approach for 2022.

Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O' Loughlin said: "I have been in contact with many in the local education community in South Kildare as I have been since I was first elected to the Oireachtas in 2016: there is no doubt that teachers, principal, Special Needs Assistants (SNA’s) and the wider community have pulled out all of the stops to ensure that our schools could re-open after Christmas."

"There is also no doubt that many students are understandably stressed about Leaving Cert 2022 due to the level of restrictions they have experienced, and the potential for disruption given the absences we are seeing in the education system at present.

The Kildare-South representative continued: "I think that we need to see a flexible approach to this years Leaving Cert process.

"As Deputy Chair of the Education committee, I have engaged extensively with stakeholders on the topic of Leaving Cert reform, and I think for 2022 we need to see a more flexible approach being adopted.

However, Senator O' Loughlin stressed that she also feels that there is "absolutely" still a place for conventional examination: "We cannot have a situation where a students first exam would be at third level, so when we speak of Leaving Cert 2022, we need to be conscious of the fact that many students have not sat a Junior Cert exam, meaning their first formal examination could be in a third level or college environment."

"I think flexibility will be key here when we look at Leaving Cert 2022... we need to ensure that students are not disadvantaged due to the impact of Covid, and I will be advocating for a flexible approach," she concluded.

Senator Fiona O' Loughlin recently made headlines last week when she joined a number of Kildare politicians calling for cheaper antigen tests.

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