August 11, 2020
Leaving Certificate grading model must be published for transparency– Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has reiterated his calls for the Education Minister to publish the standardisation model for Leaving Certificate students this year, following concerning flaws in the Scottish system.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently apologised to affected students, after issues were revealed in the calculated grading system that has caused many students to receive lower grades than they deserved.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said: “I am concerned that the Scottish system has many similarities to the Leaving Certificate predicted grades system proposed here in Ireland. It is vital that we do not replicate its flaws.  

“The issue is, that we are in the dark as to what the standardisation model will be for our Leaving Certificate students this year. I have repeatedly asked the Minister to publish this. She has not done so. I am once again urging her today to do so. 

“It is vital that teachers, pupils and parents can have confidence in this new model. Transparency about what the model entails will be key in ensuring they can have confidence in it. I would question how they can have confidence that the model proposed by the Minister will guarantee fairness, if they do not know what the model applying to them will be.  

“I have repeatedly expressed my concern about the potential for school profiling, or that the calculations model will be affected by a school having had low results in the past or by its disadvantaged background.  

“All students deserve to be treated fairly and receive grades which reflect their ability. We cannot see students unfairly marked down simply because they come from a disadvantaged background or because they went to a particular school.  

“The Minister must immediately examine what has happened in Scotland, and make the adjustments necessary to ensure that these issues are not replicated here. 

“The Government must also publish details of the standardisation model it is using, to ensure there can be full transparency and confidence in its fairness.”

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