At the moment, there are no options for students to resit papers, or postpone exams if they lose a loved one during the weeks of exams.
This came to light when it emerged that Rhona Butler, a student from Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, was forced to sit her Business exam 12 hours after her mother passed away from cancer. Her Mother was then buried on the Saturday, and Rhona was back to school on the Monday to sit her accounting exam.
Rhona, speaking on The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio One, re-lived the moments after her mother passed away, when she was made sit her exams in fear that she would fail otherwise.
“My school couldn’t have done anything for me, they would have if they could have . . . I didn’t want to make it any more abnormal than it was,”
A spokesperson from the State Examinations Committee, told the Irish Times, that the Minister for Education, Joe McHugh contact Ms. Butler the day after she was speaking on the radio about the issue.
A Spokesperson for the Minister also told the Irish Times, “Minister McHugh firmly believes that reviewing how we look after and support students who suffer a close family bereavement at exam time is an important step,”
Rhona Butler has also stated “It’s not fair on the student, it’s not fair on the family and it’s not fair on the school either.”
Alterations to the accommodation of students suffering from bereavement or illnesses are set to be made.