Monday 29 May 2017

Exam support reforms to benefit 1,000 pupils with learning issues

Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon Picture: Jason Clarke Photography
Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon Picture: Jason Clarke Photography
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

About 1,000 Leaving Certificate students will benefit from major changes to the way supports are awarded to exam pupils with a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia.

Reforms being introduced by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) aim to give students with special needs greater certainty about their eligibility for a support when they sit the exams.

The exam support scheme, known as RACE, has been the source of some controversy, mainly because a support awarded at Junior Cert level didn't necessarily follow through to the Leaving Cert.

Following a major review, the SEC is rolling out a number reforms that will be of direct benefit to students with learning difficulties.

Children's Ombudsman Dr Niall Muldoon, who published a report earlier this year criticising the operation of the scheme, has welcomed the changes as "good news for students and for their families".

He said, if implemented fully, they should result in a much better experience for young people with learning difficulties who are sitting exams, and a drop in the number of complaints to his office.

Irish Independent

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