Gary Gannon TD

Students are paying the price of the State Examination Commission’s failure to plan

It is completely unacceptable that Leaving Cert results will not be issued until September 2, according to Social Democrats Education Spokesperson Gary Gannon.

“Delaying the Leaving Cert results until September 2 will cause huge levels of additional stress and worry. It will also make it extremely difficult for students, who need to travel for third level, to find accommodation given the depths of the housing crisis.

“The State Examination Commission (SEC) has advanced a number of reasons for delaying the publication of the Leaving Cert results until September 2. None of them stand up to any scrutiny.

“For a start, it’s difficult to understand how merely holding deferred exams for a small minority of students could contribute to any delay. Further, the SEC has known about a shortage of examiners for quite some time. It is worth asking, what has the SEC actually done to address this perennial issue?

“Finally, an assurance that grades would be kept at 2021 levels certainly adds some additional complexity to this year’s exams. But, given this assurance was made back in February, it beggars belief that systems could not be put in place to minimise the delay caused by this additional step.

“The delay to the results does not just impact on students who need to travel. It also has consequences for two important accessibility schemes – Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) and Disability Access Route to Education (DARE).

“Orientation for these students – for students with disabilities and those from areas which are under-represented at third level due to their socioeconomic background – usually starts the week before students return to college. This earlier start is to provide additional supports and assistance. Delaying the Leaving Cert results could seriously impact these hugely important orientation programmes.

“The SEC has had a long time to prepare for this year’s Leaving Cert results. It is unacceptable that it failed to do so – and that students are paying the price of that failure.”

23 June, 2022


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