Senator Fiona O’Loughlin welcomes plan for reform of Senior Cycle education

Fianna Fáil education spokesperson and Deputy Chair of the Oireachtas Education Committee Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has welcomed the announcement by her government colleagues Minister for Education Norma Foley of plans for reform of our post-primary Education sector- ‘Equity and Excellence for All: where the student is at the centre of their Senior Cycle experience.’

The three tenets of Senior Cycle reform are to:

  • Empower students to meet the challenges of the 21st century
  • Enrich the student experience and build on what’s strong in our current system
  • Embed wellbeing and reduce student stress levels

The reform programme has been informed by the Senior Cycle Review Advisory Report prepared by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), which was also published today

Senator O’Loughlin said “I am pleased to see Minister Foley taking action to implement reform in our senior cycle system. As spokesperson for Education in the Seanad I have been working with Minister Foley on an array of education issues, and I have been communicating the views on the ground from around South Kildare. Students, parents and the wider education community want to see reform.”

“This plan will reduce the pressure on students that comes from final assessments based primarily on examinations. As Deputy Chair of the Education Committee, I have engaged extensively with stakeholders from right across the sector. The need to reform how we examine students was heard loud and clear. This plan will see us move to a model that uses more diverse forms of assessment, over a less intense time period, which is more in line with international best practice.”

Fiona concluded by saying “The reforms to Senior Cycle includes the development of new and revised subject curriculums, with additional assessment methods outside of the dreaded final written exams. I look forward to working closely with the Minister to see these reforms implemented.”



The Minister for Education has announced a number of key decisions for the redevelopment of Senior Cycle, guided by the vision of a Senior Cycle that delivers “equity and excellence for all”.

The reimagined Senior Cycle will enrich the student experience in school, maintain the quality of Ireland’s education system and reduce the pressures on students.

The approach is informed by and builds upon the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s (NCCA’s) review of Senior Cycle. The redeveloped Senior Cycle will involve the creation and development of more flexible learning pathways within school.