Sep 2020

Errors found in Leaving Cert calculated grades system

The Taoiseach has told the Dáil that the Department of Education has found two errors in the Leaving Certificate calculated grades system.​
He said Minister for Education Norma Foley would make a comprehensive statement on the matter later.

Responding to a question from Labour Leader Alan Kelly, Micheál Martin said the priority is to first inform students who may have grades changed as a result of the error.

RTÉ News understands the errors identified by the Department affect around 10% of this year's 61,000 Leaving Certificate students.

Mr Kelly said the Department has "gone to ground" in relation to those students who are appealing their calculated grades and asked is there a reason for that.

He said that will be in terms of what has occurred, the measures taken to rectify that, the rechecking of that process and bringing independent external evaluation - and above all, he added, to "ease as much anxiety as we can in relation to the students themselves".

Mr Martin said the priority has to be the students themselves; those who may receive upgrades as a result of these errors have to be communicated with first.

The Taoiseach told the Dáil the issue regarding the Leaving Cert results was "technical" and related to "coding".

He added it will result in "upgrades for quite a number of students".

Labour's education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin told the Taoiseach he was "astounded" that there is yet another '"foul up" in relation to the calculated grades system.

He asked Mr Martin whether he thought it was unacceptable that the spokespersons from parties had not been given a briefing about the minister's upcoming statement.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said this was "yet another upsetting turn of events for Leaving Cert class 2020".

Sinn Féin's education spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the news was "absolutely extraordinary".

He said there are so many questions now; including whether those students who may have been downgraded will be allowed access third-level this year or will they be deferred to next year.

Deputy Ó Laoghaire said 4pm is too late for the Minister to come into the Dáil to answer questions on this.

The Taoiseach said the fundamental priority must be to communicate to the students involved and it is extremely important that students are facilitated in terms of progression to third-level.

Published 30th September RTE news

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