Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
Sixth-year students have written to Minister for Education Norma Foley about their Leaving Cert concerns as the State exam is eased from its Covid-era form. Included in these issues is the possible clashing of the leaving cert exams with a Harry Styles gig.
In 2021, Leaving cert results were artificially boosted to stay in line with the 2020 results, with the changes leading to Leaving Cert grades reaching record highs in recent years. Despite the record high numbers, Ms Foley pledged the overall Leaving Cert results for the class of 2022 “will be no lower” than in the previous two years.
Correspondence released to the PA news agency under Freedom of Information legislation shows the pressure the Minister faces to keep that pledge, as students wrote to Ms Foley to express their concern about the Leaving Cert in 2023.
Included in the documents released to PA is a request from one student who asked Ms Foley to “do what you can” to ensure the State exams are not held before June 10th, 2023 – the date pop star Harry Styles is due to perform at Slane Castle in Co Meath.
“I know that the Leaving Certificate examination takes place around this time of year and I am pleading with you, along with the whole nation of Leaving and Junior Certificate students, to please do not put an exam on the day before 10th June 2023 as it will cause major impacts on thousands across the country who wish to attend this particular concert.
“I hope you understand the impact this concern has on thousands of people that find comfort in Harry Styles and love his music.
“I write this email on behalf of all Irish Harry Styles fans,” they wrote.
A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “The state examinations for 2022 saw examinations for all students – Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle – return for the first time since 2019.
“Recognising the disruption to teaching and learning which had been experienced by students as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, measures were announced to address concerns including changes to exam papers, which gave students added choice and time in the exam hall, relieving pressure and ensuring greater fairness.
Students are taking to Twitter to voice concerns over dates of state examinations clashing with the Harry styles gig.
So Taylor swift is during the leaving cert, Harry styles is before my oral and kendrick Lamar is during the mocks... What a horrible trick of fate
— Mrs.All Irish (@Emma_Fitz) November 26, 2017
can’t wait to see all the people choosing to get harry styles tickets over their leaving cert results at 10am on friday
— elianna (@strictlylmx) August 28, 2022