Clarity 'needed urgently' on Leaving Cert 2023 results date

Sinn Féin TD Sorca Clarke, has today (Thursday) expressed concern about the fact that the date when this year's Leaving Cert results will be issued remains unknown.

The Westmeath-based politician, who is Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Education, said: "In a matter of weeks the sixth year students across the nation will sit their first exam in Leaving Certificate 2023.

"The date they can expect to receive their results remains unknown, though it is expected to be closer to the date results were received last year (September 2) than the pre-Covid-19 date of mid-August," she stated.

The TD pointed out that the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), the Irish Universities Association (IUA), and the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) had called on Education Minister Norma Foley to bring forward the date of this year's Leaving Cert results in line with pre-Covid times.

"There has been a complete failure to ensure examiners, markers and the process for dealing with deferrals are in place prior to the exams," she said.

"This is increasing the pressure on students, parents and schools at an already stressful time. No lessons appear to have been learned from the chaos of the past few years.

"The delays in receiving results leads to delays for first year students beginning college life and another last-minute scramble for college accommodation."

Minister Foley confirmed this week that there was still no date for the release of the Leaving Cert 2023 results, suggesting it would be announced "in the not-too-distant future".

Speaking in the Dáil in February, she acknowledged difficulties in recruiting enough teachers to mark the exams.

"Availability of teachers to mark the examinations had been challenging for a number of years prior to the Covid pandemic, but became acute in 2022," said the Minister.

"Recruitment and retention of teachers as examiners is of critical concern and the State Examinations Commission is undertaking a review of this issue with all of the second level stakeholders with the objective of substantially increasing the number of teachers involved."