The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has announced revised arrangements for this year’s Junior Cycle.
The main points are as follows:
- All third year Junior Cycle students to be awarded certificates for the completion of Junior Cycle by the Department of Education and Skills
- Schools given autonomy to assess students and all students to receive a report on achievement
- Adult learners to be given opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations in autumn
The decision was taken following recommendations from an advisory group of stakeholders as part of planning for the State Examinations in response to the Covid-19 public health measures and the decision that the Junior Cycle State Examinations will not run this year.
Minister McHugh attended the meeting of the advisory group and thanked the members for their work.
“In this difficult time for students I have listened to the very strongly-held and well-articulated views of students, parents and other stakeholders,” Minister McHugh said.
“This decision has been made with the health and wellbeing of students, parents and teachers at the forefront of our thinking.
“It gives students and their families more clarity and certainty. It also gives schools freedom to decide how best to assess the progress of students following three years of hard work and learning.”
Under the revised arrangements and in light of the exceptional circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the work and achievement of third year Junior Cycle students will be recognised with a state certificate from the Department of Education and Skills.
As soon as possible after the end of the current school year, students will receive a written school report on their learning achievements in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit
Schools are also being given autonomy to decide whether to run school-based assessments and what form they take. Options to consider include school-designed examinations, tasks, projects, assignments, essay style questions, presentations, or other tasks agreed at a local level. Guidance for schools on reporting to students and parents, developed with the advice of the advisory group of stakeholders, will be published by the Department.
The State Examinations Commission is also being asked to put in place specific arrangements for adult learners to give them an opportunity to take final Junior Cycle examinations for which they are entered in autumn 2020.