6,100 Grade changes show need for Inquiry

03 October 2020

The decision to change the Leaving Cert grades for 6,100 students illustrates the need for an independent non-statutory inquiry into Leaving Cert 2020 according to Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin was speaking after it was announced that a portal will open for students at 6pm this evening where they can see if their grade is changing to a higher grade or not and 6,100 students are to get improved marks following a review of the Leaving Certificate calculated grades system.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said: 

“This rushed decision illustrates the clear need for an independent, non – statutory inquiry into the calculated grading fiasco. Today’s announcement will create further anxiety and stress for students who will now face the additional certainty of not knowing whether they will get a new CAO offer or not.

“The review into the Leaving Cert calculated grading process carried out by US company Education Training Services commissioned by Minister Foley is a whitewashing exercise that will not give an adequate examination of the processes, or provide the necessary information on who knew what, when decisions were made and why mistakes were not found.

“It is incumbent upon the Minister and the Department to put in place the necessary measures to ensure that this never happens again. For that to occur it is essential that an Inquiry is established independent of Government, headed by a retired Judge or Senior Counsel with a wide remit, and a deadline to report before the end of the year.

“It is vitally important that this occurs so recommendations can be made on how to ensure such a debacle does not occur again and what changes are needed in advance of Leaving Certificate 2021 if it is not possible to provide a written examination next year.

“Politicians and political parties who called for the written exam to be cancelled also need to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions which have resulted in this sorry mess. The Leaving Certificate calculated grading system has been a fiasco from start to finish and this evening’s decision to change the grades of 6,100 students illustrates the clear need for an independent non-statutory inquiry to examine the entire process.”

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