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17th Feb 2021

Junior Cert may be cancelled to focus on Leaving Cert

A decision to expected to be made today.

The Junior Cert might be cancelled this year to place a renewed focus on the Leaving Cert.

Minister for Education Norma Foley is due to brief the Cabinet today on the issues regarding schools reopening, as well as the status of the Junior and Leaving Cert examinations that could see the former cancelled entirely.

It is expected that Leaving Cert students will be afforded the option of receiving a modified version of the calculated grades system introduced last year or sitting their exams in June.

It is also expected that oral and practical exams will go ahead soon in modified formats.

The Cabinet’s decision on the fate of the Junior and Leaving Cert is expected to be announced soon.

This comes after reports that the government is currently putting together a set of draft guidelines for the return of schools, which is expected to commence next month. 

Parents will likely be asked to sign a “Covid form” when their children return to school. The infectious disease form will ask parents to declare whether their child has contracted or been exposed to any diseases like Covid-19.

The Irish Times reports that new guidelines are expected to be introduced ahead of the phased return of all schools. These include Covid-19 forms, keeping children with symptoms at home, and deterring against congregating outside the school gates.

Teachers will be advised to keep windows partially open all day and fully open at break times and after classes. Schools will be urged to check boiler temperatures regularly to “maximise the available heat to the school.”

The draft framework comes in the wake of the new UK Covid variant which could pose a threat to the current plan to reopen all schools across the country from next month.