Deputy Danny’s ‘Dear Minister’ Letter to Joe McHugh

Danny Healy Rae, TD sent a ‘Dear Minister’ letter to Education Minister Joe McHugh before this afternoon’s historic announcement.

Before this afternoon’s history making announcement by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD, when he announced that the 2020 Leaving Certificate Examination have been cancelled, he was addressed by Kerry Independent TD, Danny Healy Rae and you can read it here:

Dear Minister McHugh,

I am extremely concerned about what has been leaked to the media regarding the contents of your statement that is to be made later today.

Particularly, in light of the comment that leaving certificate students may sit exams in early 2021 if they aren’t satisfied with the predictive grades, that is totally ridiculous.

It would be much fairer to allow students who want to sit the exam, to do so, and those who want the predictive grade assessment, allow them that choice. 

Each student must indicate their option now to avoid legal challenges later on and to have some finality to the exams.

To suggest that further re-sitting of exams would go ahead in 2021 is ludicrous, the exams can and must go ahead this summer with proper social distancing.

Schools would be able to cater for their leaving certificate class by spreading them around the rooms within the school and if necessary using public buildings in the area i.e community centres, libraries.

Furthermore, the impact of this potential option of re-sitting exams early next year will prevent these students from going to college as they may not be happy with a predictive grade.

It will impact the leaving certificate class of 2021 as there will be constraints on college capacity and huge competition for college places.

I have been inundated with calls regarding this from teachers, students and parents.

Lastly, many teachers feel that decisions have been made with little or no consultation with them.

I believe they deserve credit for the work they have put into their classes, particularly their exam years, in preparing them for exams, the circumstances of which have changed numerous times and have continually tried to keep their students engaged and encouraged all of the time.

I look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.

Yours Sincerely,

Danny Healy-Rae, T.D