Deputy O’Brien concerned at SEC refusals of reading and writing waivers for Leaving Cert exams
Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Jonathan O’Brien TD, has raised concerns about apparent inconsistences in how the State Examination Commission (SEC) allocate grammar, spelling, reading and writing waivers to students with learning difficulties when sitting their Leaving Certificate exams.
Deputy O’Brien is raising the matter with education minister, Ruairí Quinn, after being contacted by parents of children whose applications have been supported by child psychologists but have been turned down for waivers by the SEC.
He continued: “I am concerned at the tendency of the SEC to refuse the allocation of waivers to young people sitting their Leaving Cert, even when teachers and healthcare professionals have supported their applications.
“In cases I have been dealing with, the SEC has failed to provide any plausible explanation for its decision and there are even instances where students have been turned down for a waiver despite exact same support when sitting their Junior Certs.
“Education Minister Ruairí Quinn, if he is serious about ensuring children of all abilities have equal opportunities at school, must ensure these essential supports are available.
“Refusing to provide support will mean students who need a little assistance will at a massive disadvantage during their important second level exams, which can have long-term implications for their future prospects.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Deputy O’Brien has submitted the following for Topical Issues’ Debate:
To discuss the apparent inconsistences in how the State Examination Commission (SEC) allocate grammar, spelling, reading and writing waivers for young people with learning difficulties sitting the Leaving Cert Exam and their tenancy to ignore the recommendations of evaluations teachers and healthcare professionals when making a decision on this matter. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien