Dear 6th Years,

You will have heard, no doubt, today’s news.

I have to say I remain incredibly frustrated that you have had such uncertainty visited on you in these last weeks. It has been difficult for you all. We have had no information or clarity to give you and have been following the news just like you.  I wish we could have given you certainty in the past few weeks but we too have been operating in a vacuum. Today at least ends that for us all.

You may be relieved, annoyed, worried or delighted. Perhaps a combination of those? You will have lots of questions and will have strong opinions on this decision. Whether you or I agree or disagree with the decision today is now not the point: all we can do is make the best of the situation we have been given. And we will.

After so much uncertainty in the past few weeks it is in some ways good to have at least something concrete. It eliminates some of our worries and prevents this dragging on.  I hope that, knowing as you do our high standards, integrity and the common purpose our community in school has, you can trust that the right thing will happen here. You will know that as always the school, and your teachers, have your back and will do our best for each and every one of you.

We will work our way through this process in the coming days and weeks, and do everything we can to ensure the best and fairest result for all our students. We will be given rules and clear guidelines to work within and expect to begin this process as soon as we get further information on how it is to be run nationally and within each school. Until then I can’t give any more clarity as I don’t have it. Don’t waste time with what if’s, calculations or maybes. Wait until we get more information on the system to be adopted. Let’s control what we can control for now.

 We will continue to offer support – School, after all, is still open and still going on for the other year groups. You are still our students and we still wish to take care of you and nurture you. Stay connected as we have graduation to plan, the Debs, all the things we will not miss out on.

I hope above all that today’s messages give you some measure of relief and inner calm: that the hard work is done, and that there is now nothing more you can do. You have acquitted yourselves with excellence in Senior Cycle. More than that, you have acquitted yourselves with restraint, resilience, determination and dignity in the toughest challenge life could have thrown at you this year. I am immensely proud of you.  You must hold your heads high. No year group has been as poorly treated by the system and circumstance as you, and you have survived – better than that, you have thrived, and you can walk away knowing that you have become stronger, smarter and more compassionate people as a result. We are incredibly proud of you.

We will be in touch as we know more detail. Have a good weekend. Be calm, take a breath, appreciate what is good around you.

Take care and speak to you soon,

Mr Baker