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24 May 2022

'It will enrich students’ educational experience' - Minister Norma Foley announces reform of Leaving Cert

'It will enrich students’ educational experience' - Education Minister Norma Foley announces reform of Leaving Cert

Minister of Education Norma Foley has announced a significant reform of the Leaving Certificate

Minister of Education Norma Foley has announced a significant reform of the Leaving Certificate on Tuesday afternoon. The Education Minister declared that all subjects will be reviewed with 60% of marks awarded for the exam and 40% for continuous assessment.

The revision will also include two new subjects - 'Drama, Film and Theatre Studies' and 'Climate Action and Sustainable Development' with fifth years able to partake in these new topics in 2024.

Under the new system, other changes will include:

  • An updated curriculum from 2024 with a new marking scheme in the optional subjects of Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Business. 
  • Students entering 5th year in September 2023 will sit Paper 1 in English and Irish at the end of 5th year.
  • Oral examinations and the Music practical performance will take place during the first week of the Easter break of 6th year as is the case this year.
  • Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) students will have improved access to Mathematics and Modern Foreign Languages from September 2022, broadening the options for LCA.
  • A new qualification will be introduced at level one and two on the National Qualification framework to provide an appropriate level of assessment to some students with special educational needs, building on the equivalent programme at Junior Cycle level.
  • A revised Transition Year programme will be established, and greater access to Transition Year for all students will be encouraged.

Minister Foley said: "Today I am setting out a new plan for Senior Cycle education in Ireland.

"This is an ambitious programme of reform. It will enrich students’ educational experience by increasing their choices to match their interests and enhancing teaching and learning.

"It will reduce the pressure on students that comes from final assessments based primarily on examinations. We will move to a model that uses other forms of assessment, over a less concentrated time period, in line with international best practice."

She added: "It will enable us to maintain the high standards and quality that we need to continue to achieve in our schools to serve our students well and support them to take the next steps in their career journey, whatever that may be.

"Our current system has many strengths. But we know that it can be improved, to better support our students, to reduce pressure while maintaining standards, to keep pace with the changes in practices internationally and to meet the needs and expectations of our students and of our society in preparing our young people for the world ahead."

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