Dear Class of 2020,
I am writing today to congratulate you all on your hard work, your dedication and your achievements over your years in second-level education.
This is a very different day to what we had anticipated for you, and to what you had planned and dreamed for yourselves. I do appreciate what an especially difficult time you have had over the past six months, and I want to commend you for the patience, courage and resilience you have shown in that time.
As a society we have all had to come to terms with things being very different than how we thought they might be, and your class has been particularly impacted. As you are aware, it was necessary to postpone the Leaving Certificate examinations due to the current pandemic.
The creation of the Calculated Grades system came about to ensure there would be a mechanism to enable the class of 2020 to progress to work or further and higher education on completion of your second level school experience.
This has been a challenging time for students, their families and school communities. However, I do believe what has been created is the fairest possible solution given the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves as we journey together through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, with confidence, you can look back with pride on all that you have achieved and look forward with courage to the next exciting phase of your lives.
Due to the public health measures in place, you will not be in a position to celebrate in the same way you might have liked. Equally, I know your generation appreciates and understands the huge role you play in keeping our community safe. Thank you for playing your part.
I wish you well with your Leaving Certificate results but remind you these results do not define you. You are the sum of all your parts and the next stage of your life journey is about to begin. The future is yours.
Congratulations and well done to the class of 2020.
Le gach dea-ghuí,
Norma Foley TD
Minister for Education