May 18, 2024

Kilkenny TD welcomes move to relax exam rules for bereaved students

KILKENNY TD Kathleen Funchion has welcomed the announcement that students who have suffered from a family bereavement around exam time will be allowed to sit them at a later date.

Deputy Funchion, who is the Sinn Féin spokesperson for Education and Skills, said: “I have been calling for many years for flexibility on students who have gone through a family bereavement at the time of their scheduled Leaving Certificate exams. I welcome the Department’s announcement today and that common sense has prevailed.

“Now, students who suffer a close bereavement during or in the run up to this year’s Leaving Certificate exams will be able to take time out and sit alternative papers in July.”

“Under the new provisions, students who miss some of their examinations as a consequence of the death of a close relative at the time of the examinations will be allowed sit them at another date. This is both right and long overdue,” she added.

Deputy Funchion praised the bravery of student Rhona Butler, who shined a light on the issue on RTÉ radio earlier this year when she spoke movingly of the hardship she endured when she lost her mother while she was sitting her exams.

The Kilkenny TD added: “Under previous rules, she was expected to sit her exams regardless a few days after burying her mother. Thanks to Rhona, from now on, other students who face the same heartbreaking situation can at least know that they will be given some leniency so that they can process their loss and focus on their exams once they have had that time to grieve. It is the right thing for the Department of Education and Skills to do.”

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