June 5, 2018, (Ireland) Irish Times: Parents urged to help mind children’s mental health as exams begin https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/parents-urged-to-help-mind-children-s-mental-health-as-exams-begin-1.3519383 Parents are being advised to help look after their children’s mental health as tens of thousands of students prepare to sit their Junior and Leaving Cert exams on Wednesday…. Amid evidence of rising anxiety levels among second-level pupils, the Samaritans has urged students and their parents to put their well-being ahead of their grades. Cindy O’Shea, regional director for Samaritans in Ireland, said by keeping results in perspective young people are more likely to do themselves justice than if they face intolerable levels of pressure and stress…. Of this year’s exam students, about 17,000 students – or 15 per cent of all exam candidates – are likely to receive “reasonable accommodation” for a variety of special educational needs, including learning difficulties, emotional and behavioural issues and physical or sensory disabilities. This year’s numbers have yet to be finalised, though they have been rising in recent years. The most common forms of reasonable accommodation are spelling/grammar waivers; reading assistants; and exemptions for some components of individual exams….