Students ‘banned from exams’ if parents pressure teachers on Leaving Cert 2021 grades – Minister

Students could be banned from sitting state exams if their parents lobby teachers on calculated grades for the Leaving Cert, Education Minister Norma Foley said today.

inister Foley said her department is looking at legislation to be brought in to sanction students whose parents participate in lobbying. It will also protect teachers from being sued over grades.

“We are looking to bring in legislation to prevent the canvassing of teachers and also to confirm that teachers will be indemnified in the process as well as they were last year,” the minister said on RTÉ Radio One’s Claire Byrne Show.

“It should not happen, it’s not acceptable and we will do all we can to ensure that it won’t happen.”

When asked if criminal sanctions will face students or their parents, Minister Foley said no, but it will be considered an offence.

“We want to bring in legislation to prevent the canvassing of teachers and there will be sanctions for that,” she said.

“What’s currently being worked through, I suppose in terms of sanctions that are already in existence…. is where students can be barred from a particular exam or from a state exam.”

When asked if it’s fair to punish students for the actions of their parents, Minister Foley replied: “Consideration will have to be given by parents not to interfere with the professionals, the teachers.

“I’ve every confidence that they wouldn’t do that.”

Under the Leaving Cert plan announced yesterday, students can opt to receive a version of ‘calculated grades’ and also to sit traditional exams, which will begin on June 9.

Students must decide whether to sit the written papers without knowing their ‘calculated grades’ and the results of both will be issued around the same time.

If they choose to sit the exams, and there is a difference in the grades awarded for one or more subjects, they will get the higher grade for each of those subjects.

The Leaving Certificate 2021 timetable was published today.

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