Irish Second-Level Students’ Union

PRESS STATEMENT                                        *FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*

Leaving Certificate Results 2010 17/08/‘10

Thousands of young people across the country are anxiously awaiting the release of this year’s Leaving Cert results tomorrow. However, it would be interesting to see how these students would fare in comparison to their results from June if they were to sit the same or similar exam papers again tomorrow with no further revision. It cannot be denied that the current Irish second-level examinations system encourages rote-learning to such an extent that it is detrimental to our students, affecting their ability to adapt at third-level and therefore, it is difficult not to question the knowledge retention of our students in thinking that the majority of students would fare less favourably if they were to sit the exams again beginning tomorrow, a mere two months on from the initial sitting of the exams.

The ISSU once again calls on the Minister for Education and Skills to reconsider the review of the Leaving Certificate which was shelved earlier in the year due to its estimated cost of €100 million. The preliminary findings of the ESRI/NCCA Post-Primary Longitudinal Study further highlight that the current system is too burdensome on our young people causing high levels of stress; it is clear that a system which places a greater emphasis on continuous assessment would be more favourable in this regard and for a variety of other reasons. We need to encourage more creative and dynamic learning at second-level, the ability to rote-learn a paragraph isn’t a fundamental life-skill.

The current Leaving Certificate doesn’t adequately prepare students for third-level or life outside of education so although the initial cost of an overhaul may seem high, the eventual benefits to our students and to the ‘knowledge-economy’ that the government so often states that it strives for will far out-weigh the initial cost. The ISSU would like to wish all those receiving their results tomorrow, the very best of luck and urges students not to panic and to make good use of the various exam help lines and other sources of advice and information available to them.


Notes to Editor:

ISSU is the national umbrella body for school Student Councils, aiming to represent and connect Irish second-level students the length and breadth of the country, ensuring that the voice of the Irish second-level student is heard and striving for innovation and democracy within the education system. ISSU is a not-for profit student rights organisation.

At ISSU we believe that young people are not merely citizens in waiting – we deserve better, we deserve to be heard. We can and will contribute positively to society. It is so important that our voices, views and opinions are (i) heard (ii) listened to (iii) and most importantly respected. This is what ISSU is all about. We’re here for you.

Our main aims include:

  • To provide training and development of second-level school Student Councils, in conjunction with relevant bodies.
  • To develop policies on issues affecting Irish second-level students and bring the needs and rights of students to the attention of the relevant authorities.
  • To provide a transparent, democratic and reliable organisation.
  • To work in collaboration with other educational institutions and bodies both in Ireland and Europe.
  • To work closely with educational curriculum policy makers and teachers’ unions to continually develop a transparent, fair and modern education system.
  • And most importantly, to give students a structured platform through which the voice of the Irish second-level student will be heard.

ISSU represents students at a national level and is affiliated to; the WHEELNYCIAnna Lindh FoundationStand up for Education Alliance,Children’s Mental Health Coalition and the Children’s Rights Alliance. On an international level, ISSU works closely with OBESSU. ISSU also works with curriculum development teams and various advisory bodies.