Leaving Cert students have been asked to limit their social contacts and avoid social gatherings as the examinations approach.

Students who are diagnosed with Covid-19, are a close contact or a confirmed case, have symptoms of Covid-19 or are self-isolating or restricting their movements will not be allowed to sit the examinations, which begin on 9 June.

There will be no alternative date to sit these exams and students will be given a calculated grade instead if they are eligible for one, Assistant Secretary General of the Department of An Taoiseach Liz Canavan has said.

Ms Canavan said the State Examinations Commission will issue guidelines next week on how these exams will be conducted.

But she appealed to students and their parents to be mindful of the activities in the run up to the exams, saying that nobody wanted to see the chance to sit the exam taken away from pupils.

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Yesterday head of the Health Service Executive Paul Reid appealed to public to keep an extra focus on protecting schools and childcare facilities.

Mr Reid asked for people to especially watch out for Leaving Certificate students who plan to sit exams.

He said public health measures outside of school are key to keeping them safe.

Highest calibre of leadership from school principals - Foley

Minister for Education Norma Foley said she has huge appreciation and understanding of leadership on the ground in schools and that in the most unprecedented of times, the highest calibre of leadership has been shown by school principals with both resilience and generosity.

Addressing the Irish Primary Principal's Network annual conference, Ms Foley acknowledged the "burden" on school principals during the pandemic.

She said there is a clear understanding from the Government regarding the importance of education.

"Whilst we face many challenges I am pleased to say we overcame the vast majority of them, particularly because of a willingness on all sides to work in a spirit of engagement and collaborations," she said and added that will be the vision going forward.

The minister also said she believes the substitution panel has been a huge resource for schools and would like to see it on a permanent basis.

She said substitution around SNAs has been more of an issue this year compared to other years.