News & Media

Exam fees should be waived for 2020

26 March 2020

Statement by Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht

Labour Party Education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called for Leaving and Junior Certificate fees to be waived for this academic year.

Deputy Ó Ríordáín said:

“In the last few days I have been contacted by school principals who are concerned about the payment of Leaving and Junior Certificate fees for this academic year. Leaving and Junior Certificate students are expected to pay a fee of €116 and €109 respectively to cover administrative costs of their exams within the next four weeks.

“The wise option at this stage, whatever the status of this year’s State exams, would be for the Department of Education to waive these fees.

“If the Department are to go ahead with these fees, it would put a huge administrative burden on schools at this time, when they are already faced with unprecedented tasks, such as increasing the scale of online learning.

“The forms have to be sent to the student and then sent back to the schools, which could pose a logistical challenge for many students and their families at this time.

“When the sharp effects of this pandemic have passed, it will be appropriate to have a conversation about whether it is right to have these types of administrative fees in what is supposed to be a free education system.

“For now, the Minister for Education needs to take decisive action on this and waive the State exam administrative fee for 2020.”