TD reveals key findings of Leaving Certificate survey in Mayo

Majority support calculated grades either by using standardised continuous assessment or an option to sit scaled-down exams

Significant concerns around remote learning with 38% having insufficient broadband and 57% finding it a negative experience.

Mayo TD Alan Dillon has revealed the key findings of his survey for Leaving Certificate students around Mayo.

With over 520 respondents, almost 400 of whom were Leaving Certificate students, highlighted the strong preference for a calculated grades process.

The highest ranked preference was to used calculated grades with an option to sit scaled-down end of year exams followed very closely by the second preference to use calculated grades using standardised continuous assessment.

The third ranking preference was for the exams to proceed as planned pending public health advice.

Their fourth preference was to delay in-person exams until later in the year.

Deputy Dillon said: “I wish to thank the students, parents and teachers who contributed to the survey.

“This allows me to provide very clear information to the Department of Education on the ranked preferences of Leaving Certificate students.

“The strongest preference amongst Leaving Certificate students was for an approach using calculated grades with an option to sit scaled-down end of year exams or by using standardised continuous assessment.

“The oral and practical element of exams also was a source of concern with the ranked preferences of students being firstly to cancel them, secondly, partake in a scaled down version with ongoing assessment; and, thirdly, move these online.”

“While I welcome the information generated to provide insight to the preferences of Leaving Certificate students, they have highlighted other problems.

“In particular, almost two in five students have insufficient broadband.

“Almost three in five have found remote learning to be a negative or very negative experience.

“Over three in five felt the uncertainty around the exams had a negative impact on their mental health.

“I will be working with youth mental health providers to improve their services in Mayo as greater dedicated infrastructure and resources needs to be put in place now.”