Minister for Education Norma Foley, TD.

Interviewers and students to wear masks for Leaving Cert oral exams

The education minister has said interviewers and students will have to wear masks for the Leaving Cert oral exams.

In a statement this afternoon, Minister for Education Norma Foley, TD, said the State Examinations Commission is today issuing supplementary guidance to schools on the conduct of Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied Oral Examinations, to provide for masks to be worn by candidates and interviewers during the examination interviews.

Minister Foley said: “It is important that both students and staff feel comfortable during the oral examinations interviews this year. In addition to very clear public health advice issued last week, the SEC has introduced a requirement for both interviewer and student to wear face masks during the entirety of the interview, except in cases where students are already exempted from wearing masks.

“I wish all students the very best as they continue to prepare for the oral examinations over the coming weeks.”

The public health measures to be put in place by schools hosting the examination interviews are detailed in guidance sent to schools, and include the use of social distancing, perspex screens, ventilation and cleaning and sanitation.

The oral examinations will be held from Friday of this week, March 26, until Thursday April 15.

This year, as part of the public health measures being undertaken to hold the examinations safely, the oral examination interview is being organised by schools.

The teacher will ask the questions and conduct the interview, but they will not mark candidates’ performances.

Instead, the examinations will be recorded on a recording device, and the recording will be submitted to the State Examinations Commission. It will then be marked by an external examiner.

Examination interviews will follow the usual format for the subject.