On Monday, 20 December, 2021, the Department of Education and the State Examinations Commission hosted online a meeting of the advisory group of stakeholders on planning for the State Examinations 2022. 

The group, which previously provided advice in relation to the 2020 and 2021 State Examinations, includes representatives of students, parents, teachers, school leadership and management bodies, the State Examinations Commission (SEC), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and the Department of Education, including the National Educational Psychological Service. 

At the meeting, the group discussed the arrangements for Leaving Certificate Oral Examinations in Irish and the Modern Foreign Languages and the practical performance tests in Leaving Certificate Music. 

These examinations will take place outside of school time over the first week of the school Easter holidays, with the examinations running in schools during the six-day period Saturday, 9th April to Thursday, 14th April inclusive.

Working with the SEC, and the SEC examiners assigned to the school in each subject, schools will have some flexibility in scheduling the examinations during this period based on local needs. Providing clarity to students on the timing of the examinations will assist them in planning their study and break times. Running the oral examinations before Easter will leave students free over the second week of the Easter holidays. 

All aspects of the examinations will be conducted in accordance with the prevailing Public Health advice. Holding these examinations over Easter and outside of school time will minimise disruption for schools and students. 

It will also help to ensure that greater numbers of teachers can participate in this important examining work without impacting on teacher supply. It is planned that the Junior Cycle Music practical performance test and the Home Economics practical test will take place during school time as normal. 

The advisory group also received an update on preparation of the Department’s Action Plan for Education 2022. The group will meet again in the New Year.