Dear Parents & Students

We would like to update you regarding our planning for assessment of our students at the end of May. A discussion with staff was delayed pending the outcome of a Cork ETB principals meeting which took place this morning. Engagement on the issue has also been hampered by the continued uncertainty regarding assessment for 3rd Years.

Junior Cycle Examinations
You will be aware that the State Exams Commission, in conjunction with the Department of Education and Skills, notified all schools that the Junior Certificate /Junior Cycle examinations will not take place in June. Instead it was initially proposed that the SEC would send exam papers to schools and students would sit the exams in September. The proposal was that these exams would not be state certified.

Department of Education & Skills
You will also be aware that there has been considerable discussion in the media about the possibility of staging some form of Junior Certificate /Junior Cycle assessment at the end of May. The school, through CETB, have been in contact with the SEC and DES seeking further clarification on this possibility. At the meeting this morning we were informed that negotiations are ongoing at national level with regard to this. We were also informed that the DES have asked that schools make no local decisions pending the outcome of these talks. You can appreciate the difficulty the school has in making a plan around Summer Assessments for 1st/2nd/4th & 5th Years in the absence of a clear picture regarding Junior Cycle assessment.

Subject Departments
As we await further information we have asked our subject departments to discuss approaches to assessment that are most suitable to their subject and that members feel can be efficiently undertaken and evaluated in the absence of a return to school. Departments will have to take into account the obstacles which might prevent students engaging fully with the process and balance this with the necessity to keep students engaged until the end of term and the importance of having meaningful assessment procedures.

Subject Department Coordinators
Our subject department coordinators will consult with their colleagues over the coming days and feedback to senior management on a consensus approach to assessment for the Summer exams. As soon as we have further information or clarification from the ETB/DES/SEC we will update you. In the interim we thank you again for your efforts to engage as fully as possible with learning programmes in these most challenging circumstances.

GCC Senior Management