Tipperary students still split over decision to cancel Leaving Cert exams

A Tipperary student who was this year repeating her Leaving Cert says she’s bitterly disappointed at how it’s all turned out.

Jill Shannon was 10 points off her first choice last year and decided in November that she would try again.

However, it comes as the teachers unions, the TUI and ASTI have given their backing to the decision to replace the exams with predicted grades.

Speaking on Tipp Today, Jill says she thinks it’s very unfair:

“Sometimes we don’t get a chance to study for these class tests. That’s ok because we’re told it’s ok to make mistakes now because the end goal is always June. Maybe the exams in class were just like timing tests to see if you can get your timing right, or maybe they were to identify weaknesses. So now we’re terrified that these class tests that meant nothing now mean something so big.”

However, the principal of St Anne’s Secondary School in Tipperary Town says she thinks predicting grades is the fairest option at this time.

Colette Treacy says she also isn’t too worried about parents or students trying to lobby teachers for a better grade:

“Once the decision was made, and because students were emailing teachers all the time – much more so than they would have done had the school been open – we sent a message out just saying that to preserve the integrity of the process, students or their parents were not to make direct contact with teachers.”

And Eve Donovan, a student at St Anne’s also says she was relieved when she heard the Leaving Cert exams had been cancelled completely:

“It’s a big weight off my shoulders. I don’t think I would have performed my best. You know, [the exams] were now three months away. A lot of us were at our peak on the 10th of April, before the announcement, knowing that we only would have four or five weeks really left for intense study…

“In my eyes it was definitely the right decision to put our health and our safety first.”