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Sinn Féin says changes to Leaving Cert grades will not eradicate pressure on Leaving Cert students – O' Brien

29 April, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking from Leinster House today, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien has said that while the moves to encourage students to take up higher level are welcome, it won’t do enough to ease the pressure on students sitting six exams over a week or so.

Deputy O'Brien said;

“Of course it doesn’t seem fair that a student can receive 60 points for a score of 56% on a Higher Level paper, and 50 points for 45% on a Higher Level paper, but then 0% for a score of 36% at Higher Level - and this is something that needs to be addressed.

“However, we don’t know if students taking FETAC subjects will be treated fairly and we have no clue what the CAO points structure will look like.

“These changes should not be viewed as a some kind of silver bullet to ending the pressure on students who sit the Leaving Cert.

“There is still going to be enormous pressure on students sitting seven exams over a week or so after two years of study. For most students, whether they succeed in those exams will be the deciding factor on whether they get the course they want.

“There is very little detail on what the reformed entry routes at third level will look like.

“The changes won’t do anything to incorporate project work or continued assessment in order to reduce the pressure from the end of cycle exams.

“It also won’t do anything to address the two tier education system and parents with cash paying for grinds.

“The paper published by the Minister is a useful starting point, but if the government really want to introduce fairness in the exam structure in Ireland they will address the other glaringly obvious aspects of our two tier education system as well as how we grade the exams.”

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