Ibec welcomes record number of students undertaking Higher Level Maths yet further reforms needed

August 13, 2019

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, welcomes the continued increase in the number of Leaving Certificate students taking Higher Level Mathematics. The group also said that to better help students prepare for future opportunities, further reform of the Leaving Certificate programme was needed.  
Claire McGee, Head of Education and Innovation Policy at Ibec, said: “It is encouraging to see a further increase in the number of students opting for Higher Level Maths (a record 33% of candidates) and achieving strong results. It is also encouraging to see a rise in the number of students taking science subjects. This will help students who wish to pursue science and technology courses at third level, leading to interesting and successful careers across a broad range of industry sectors.

“There remains some concern about Ordinary Level Maths results. Maths skills are necessary for all citizens to participate fully in life, in further study and in work. The quality and approach of teaching may need to be reviewed to support such students.”
She also acknowledged the need for future reforms of the Leaving Certificate programme. She continued: “The workplace of the future will be very different from that of today, as many of the jobs and skills required have not yet been imagined. Irish businesses value people who can demonstrate creativity, resilience and an aptitude for learning. It is vital that Ireland’s education system equips young people with the skills and knowledge they need to reach their full potential.

“It is now time to make the Leaving Cert, and indeed the whole senior cycle and careers guidance, more relevant for the 21st century. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) have commenced a review of the senior cycle. To achieve successful and relevant reform, it is critical that all stakeholders – students, parents, educators and business – engage in this important process.”