CAO applications surge by 5,000

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Applications to the CAO for college entry in the autumn are up more than 5,000 on this time last year. While February 1 is the standard deadline, January 20 is the cut off for applicants who want to benefit from a reduced fee of €30, rather than €45. At 5pm, 66,457 had applied, up from 61,387 – an increase of 5,070 – at the same time in 2020 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 20 January]

Tags: , , ,

Single portal for CAO and further education aims to tackle ‘academic snobbery’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students will be able to choose between CAO and further education options at the same time from next year under plans to tackle ‘academic snobbery’ over alternatives to third level. Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said there is a growing number of high quality options for school leavers in the further education and apprenticeships sectors …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 January]

Tags: , , ,

The Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – Breda O’Brien makes some very valid points regarding the Leaving Certificate (‘Schools debacle exposes worrying lack of planning’, Opinion & Analysis, January 9th). However, I must take issue with her very strong criticism of the calculated grades system, which she describes ‘as the worst-case scenario for Leaving Cert students because they have no credibility given how badly they worked last time’ …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 12 January]

Tags: , ,

Feeder schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Publication of lists of ‘feeder’ schools omits the fact that many young people receive third-level education via formal trade apprenticeships, but these are not included in the figures (‘Wealthy areas keep strong advantage in accessing third-level places’, News, January 8th) …” (more)

[Mary Morrissey, Irish Times, 9 February]

Tags: , ,

Left-wing parties could sink €100m State subsidy for fee-paying schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Fee-paying schools are hoping to bounce back from last year’s hiccup when some of them didn’t get their usual crop of top grades across the board. The vast majority of their Leaving Cert students still went to college. But the performance of these schools was equalled by more non-fee paying schools than usual …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 8 January]

Tags: , , , , ,

Leaving Cert calculated grades system may need more homework, college tables show

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students from lower- and middle-­income backgrounds scooped up more college places in the autumn after the June 2020 Leaving Cert was replaced by calculated grades. They were buoyed by a big rise in the number of CAO offers made to adjust for the extraordinary circumstances of 2020 when teacher assessments combined with a computer algorithm decided the grades of more than 60,000 candidates …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 8 January]

Tags: , , , ,

Early surge in CAO applications as students look to next year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The CAO has seen an early surge in applications for entry to college next September. The figure is 2,000 ahead of where it was this time last year and currently stands at over 21,000. The ongoing rise in Leaving Cert candidates, on the back of the baby boom in the early 2000s, is likely a key factor …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 14 December]

Tags: , , , , ,

Third Level Admissions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 12th, 2020 by steve

IrelandBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which reform of the CAO system is contemplated with a view to ensuring increased interest by students in courses in which an increase in the number of graduates is required; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 10 December]

Tags: , , ,

Leaving Cert legal challenge: Using historical data would not have hit disadvantaged schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The standardisation process used to estimate Leaving Certificate grades would not have discriminated against students attending disadvantaged schools even if data about schools’ past performances in the exam had been included, the High Court has heard …” (more)

[Ann O’Loughlin, BreakingNews.ie, 10 December]

Tags: , , ,

Changes to Leaving Cert model disadvantaged good students at top schools, court told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Changes made by the Minister for Education to the model used to assess calculated Leaving Certificate grades systematically disadvantaged good students attending high performing schools, the High Court has been told. Feichín McDonagh SC, for student Freddie Sherry, said expert evidence will show the Minister’s decision not to use historical data on school’s past performances in the Leaving Cert resulted in a disproportionate reduction in the grades his client had received from his teachers …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 9 December]

Tags: , , ,

Education Minister failed to keep Leaving Cert ‘fair and accurate’, court hears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education breached commitments to keep the 2020 Leaving Certificate fair and accurate and comparable to other years’ results by not including historical school data in the calculated grade process, the High Court has heard …” (more)

[Independent, 9 December]

Tags: , , , ,

Minister breached commitments to keep Leaving Cert ‘fair and accurate’, court told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on December 8th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education breached commitments to keep the 2020 Leaving Certificate fair and accurate, and comparable to other years results, in failing to include historical school data in the calculated grade process, the High Court has been told …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 8 December]

Tags: , , , ,

The Leaving and media hype

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir , – In Carl O’Brien’s article ‘Leaving Cert “too narrow and rigid”, OECD review finds’ (News, November 30th), he states, ‘The review also notes the points system generates high levels of stress and anxiety among senior cycle students and their families …'” (more)

[John Hurley, Irish Times, 7 December]

Tags: , ,

Leaving Cert: Use of historical data would allow ‘good calculations’ of grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The use of data on schools’ past Leaving Cert performance would have allowed for ‘good calculations’ to be made for students’ calculated grades, according to internal briefing papers prepared for the Minister for Education. The documents were prepared last June for Norma Foley prior to the Government’s decision on September 1st to remove school-by-school historical records on Leaving Cert achievement in determining students’ calculated grades …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 November]

Tags: , , , ,

Senior Department of Education official to be cross-examined in case over grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The High Court has permitted a limited cross-examination of the assistant secretary of the Department of Education during the lead challenge over the Leaving Cert calculated grades process. That action, by Freddie Sherry, a Leaving Cert student at Dublin’s Belvedere College, is due to open next Tuesday with more than 30 other cases awaiting its outcome …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 1 December]

Tags: , , , , ,

Calculated grades: Draft suggested ‘negative consequences’ of excluding historical data

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on November 25th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A draft document circulated by the director of the Leaving Cert calculated grades office referred to the ‘negative consequences’ of excluding historical school data from a calculated grades model as including ‘better performing disadvantaged schools also [being] thrown under the bus’, the High Court has heard …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 25 November]

Tags: , , ,

Leaving Cert calculated grades memo deemed confidential, High Court hears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on November 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A memorandum considered by Cabinet before approving the exclusion of historical school data from the Leaving Cert calculated grades process cannot be disclosed on grounds of Cabinet confidentiality, the State has told the High Court …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 24 November]

Tags: , , ,

Grading the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, Pat O’Brien is correct (Letters, November 13th). The Leaving Cert exam has many faults but the calculated grades fiasco proves that anonymously marked exams are a must. However, the so-called ‘severe overestimating’ of grades that occurred this year might not all necessarily be the result of teacher generosity …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 14 November]

Tags: , ,

Grading the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – One hears regular criticism of the use of Leaving Certificate results as the gateway to third-level education. The current system encourages learning by rote, it does not assess all the skills which are important for future studies, and it makes no allowance for a student having an off-day or not being in a position to sit all or part of the examination …” (more)

[Pat O’Brien, Irish Times, 13 November]

Tags: , ,

State Examinations – Leaving Cert

Posted in Governance and administration on October 22nd, 2020 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason no specific plan was put in place to address the disadvantage faced by the 8,000 students who sat the leaving certificate prior to 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 October]

Tags: , , , ,