Republic of Ireland news

Postponed Leaving Cert exams begin, but few taking part

State exams were cancelled in the summer for the first time ever in the Republic

POSTPONED Leaving Certificate exams are under way - although fewer than 2,600 pupils will be taking part.

Over the next four weeks there will be one exam each weekday evening and two per day on Saturdays and Sundays.

The majority of candidates will sit exams in just one or two subjects.

State exams were cancelled in the summer for the first time ever in the Republic.

Pupils received calculated grades but were also given the option of sitting their exams later on.

They will be given whichever mark is higher.

Yesterday, 2,569 candidates commenced the exams at 574 locations.

The opportunity to sit Junior Cycle exams was also offered to adult learners and early school leavers and 60 candidates are due to take these.

They are being run in accordance with public health advice which includes social distancing and the wearing of appropriate face coverings by superintendents and candidates.

Pupils have previously been advised that they must not attend if they have tested positive for Covid-19, if they are experiencing any symptoms or are required to self-isolate or restrict their movements.

Pat Burke, chairman of the State Examinations Commission (SEC), said this year had been particularly difficult and stressful for Leaving Certificate candidates and their families.

"The board and staff of the SEC are very aware of the particular effort which candidates and their families have invested in the forthcoming examinations and extend our best wishes to all candidates," he said.

It is expected that provisional results will issue in early February 2021.

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