We've all been wondering when the Leaving Cert and other State exams will take place this year. It doesn't seem like the restrictions around Covid-19 are going to be lifted any time soon. But these exams need to happen.
Today's Irish Times reports that the government is giving up on the idea of staging the exams this summer and is now looking at late August or early September as an exam date.
The government is also exploring something called 'predictive marking'.
One senior source said it was now looking more likely that the exams would be held at the tail-end of the summer as restrictions were unlikely to be lifted in time for the June 3rd written exams date.
Another option being explored by the Government is predictive marking but there are growing concerns about the proposal
John Walshe, a former advisor to education minister Ruauri Quinn told the Irish Examiner that an autumn Leaving Cert will be hugely challenging for schools as it will mean closing schools in the autumn.
The first option is that they start as scheduled on the 3rd of June, the next option is moving them to July or August, obviously you'd have to get buy-in from managers and unions on that.
"The big difficulty about moving them into September of October is that you have to close the schools effectively for three weeks while you are running the exams to get the peace and quiet.
He also asked what happens to the students who are moving from primary school to secondary school.
"What will you do with the 70,000 students who are due to transfer from primary level into second level?" he is quoted as saying.
The Department of Education faces some very difficult decisions over the coming weeks about these exams. We eagerly look forward to some clarity.