Sinn Féin Youth Affairs Spokesperson Senator Kathryn Reilly has said Education Minister Ruairi Quinn must ensure children of all abilities have equal opportunities at school.
Speaking today during the Order of Business, Senator Kathryn Reilly questioned the failures of the State Examinations Commission to allocate waivers to students whose applications have been supported by healthcare professionals and teachers:
"A lot of pressure is put on young people to do the Leaving Cert and then to do well in it. Very often young people only get one chance at this. Clearly, every young person must be given the very best chance to secure a Leaving Certificate. It would be grossly wrong if any young person was to have their legitimate educational aspirations impeded by the refusal of waivers by the State Examinations Commission."
Senator Reilly said in a number of the cases she has been dealing with the State Examinations Commission has failed to provide any plausible explanation for its decision:
"There are even instances where students have been turned down for a waiver despite one-to-one assistance being provided through their education and the exact same support when sitting their Junior Certs.
"Refusing to provide support will mean students who need a little assistance will be at a massive disadvantage."