This document sets out the adjusted assessment arrangements for post- primary students taking certificate examinations in the 2020/21
school year. These arrangements are designed to take account of
the disrupted learning experienced by students during the 2019/20 school year. The adjustments have been arrived at through discussions between the Department of Education and Skills (DES), the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and keystakeholders.
As schools have significant autonomy in determining how to sequence
and pace learning for students in their schools, no centrally prescribed adjustment of the curriculum and courses of study would be effective for students taking the certificate examinations in 2021. Consequently, the most appropriate way to reflect and take account of the challenges for students that have occurred in 2019/20 and may occur in 2020/21 is to incorporate adjustments to the certificate examinations in 2021.
As the loss of learning through school closures will have affected students’ engagement with their course of study in different ways, the adjustments put in place will play to student strengths by leaving intact the familiar overall structure of the examinations, while incorporating additional choice. In some cases, theadjustment measures will provide more time for tuition by, for example, reducing preparatory work for practical examinations. In addition, briefs for coursework will be issued at least a month earlier in the school year to provide certainty for students.
Changes to the national assessment arrangements have been made with due regard for the principles of equity, fairness and integrity as these principles apply to assessment and examinations and refer to student- to-student, subject-to-subject, and year-to-year comparisons.
Overall, the changes can be viewed as reflecting and recognising a loss of learning time in the 2019/20 school year in a fair manner, with some contingency for future learning loss that may occur during the 2020/21 school year also built in. They provide clarity, certainty and reassurance to students, their parents/guardians,teachers and schools in advance of the start of the 2020/2021 school year.
The document details the adjusted assessment arrangements for every subject/ module descriptor in the Leaving Certificate Established, Leaving Certificate Applied, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme and Junior Cycle programmes. When you click on the relevant subject title, you will be brought to the page detailing the particular arrangements for that subject.