September 30, 2020
Solutions need to be found for Leaving Cert students affected by calculated grades system errors – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that solutions need to be found for Leaving Cert students affected by errors in the calculated grades system.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“The latest debacle surrounding this year’s Leaving Certificate is an extraordinary development.

“This year’s Leaving Cert students have endured much in the past year – there has been uncertainty, the repeated postponement of exams, the confusion surrounding the model to be utilised for the allocation of marks and the delay in publishing results.

“We in Sinn Féin made it clear in May that the calculated grades model was not the correct one to use because it would prove to be a blunt instrument that would cause students to miss out who shouldn’t have.

“In our view, the allocation of third-level places should have been resolved through maximising college and university places, and through assessments at third-level to allocate placed for high demand courses.

“The Minister for Education persisted with a calculated grades model and difficulty after difficulty has persisted until then. The flaws have become very apparent and this is the latest chapter in this sorry saga.

“What students deserve now is answers, fairness and the ability to progress.

“It is not credible that the Minister for Education knew about these errors last Tuesday, yet only made this information public today. That is unacceptable. 

“Processes such as these should contain appropriate tests and safeguards. How did this situation come about? It isn’t good enough to say this was simply missed.

“The Minister now needs to bring clarity and certainty for students who are experiencing a great deal of stress and confusion tonight. She needs to find solutions for those affected and she needs to tell students and their families how she will fix this. 

“It would seem obvious that it would be manifestly unfair to deny students who would have attained their chosen third-level places from being able to access those courses. 

“The Minister has not made it clear that this is what she intends to do. She needs to do that and to spell out how that will be achieved; without penalising those who have already been allocated places.”

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