Brassil Calls On Minister To Extend Bereavement Exemptions To Junior Cert Students

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Deputy John Brassil.

FIANNA Fáil TD for Kerry, John Brassil, has called on the Minister for Education to extend bereavement exam exemptions to Junior Certificate students.

Deputy Brassil was commenting as the Department of Education made provisions that any Leaving Cert students who suffer a close family bereavement during the State examinations in June will be allowed to sit alternative papers in July.

He explained; “This year marks the first time that bereaved students will have the option to sit their exams at an alternative date in July, where the death of the close relative occurs during exam time, or in the two days prior to the exams commencing.

“This provision is much needed and came about following the very brave interview given by Rhona Butler, who lost her mother during her Leaving Cert. Rhona highlighted the need for students to be supported through such a traumatic time and to have options available to them.

“I believe it is only right that Junior Cert students are afforded the same support. The Leaving and Junior Certificate are state exams overseen by the State Examinations Commission.

“While I absolutely acknowledge the primacy of the Leaving Cert, I do believe that the Junior Cert plays a hugely important role in our education system and in the progression of our young people.

“Walking into an exam hall with a huge number of students and overseen by unknown invigilators is a daunting experience for many students, even more so for students who have experienced a bereavement. The same supports should be in place for both”, he concluded.

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