Cancelled exams see doubling of legal actions against Department of Education

Posted in Legal issues on July 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Legal actions taken against the Department of Education more than doubled in 2020, the year that saw the Leaving Cert cancelled and replaced with calculated grades. Almost 310 legal cases have been filed in the courts against the Department of Education since 2016, an average of almost five per month …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 28 July]

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English language schools: Teachers, students protest reopening of in-person classes

Posted in Governance and administration on July 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“English language school students and teachers have warned that resuming face-to-face classes from Monday, while cases of the Delta Covid-19 variant soar, is ‘dangerous’ and ‘reckless’. A small group of protestors marched from the Spire on O’Connell Street to the Department of Education on Monday calling on the Government to keep language schools closed until most students are vaccinated …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak and Grace Donnellan, Irish Times, 19 July]

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First year college classes must not start before September 27 – students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Second-level student leaders say teaching of first years in third-level colleges must start no earlier than September 27, following the announcement that Leaving Cert result won’t issue until September 3. Colleges have been reviewing their schedules and some, including UCD, DCU, UCC, NUI Galway and Maynooth University, have decided on a September 27 start for tuition, but details are awaited from across the sector …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 June]

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Calculated grades will be seen as a success even if individual students feel hard done by

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on March 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The official reaction from the Minister for Education Norma Foley was muted. ‘The Minister for Education has received the judgment of Mr Justice Meenan given today in the case taken by a student in relation to the calculated grades system for Leaving Certificate 2020 and notes its content’ …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 March]

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Leaving Cert decision due next week

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A decision on the arrangements for this year’s State exams is expected to be made early next week by the Cabinet, amid growing calls to give students certainty about the exams. Discussions continued today between representatives of students, parents, teachers, and school management bodies, with officials from the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Department of Education …” (more)

[Jess Casey and Aoife Moore, Irish Examiner, 2 February]

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Traditional Leaving Cert still the ‘firm objective’ despite schools staying closed – Minister Norma Foley

Posted in Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Holding a traditional Leaving Cert this summer is still the Government’s ‘firm objective’ despite schools remaining closed until February, education minister Norma Foley has said. Earlier this evening, the ASTI directed its members not to engage with the Department of Education’s plan to reopen schools to Leaving Cert students from next Monday due to ‘health and safety concerns’ …” (more)

[Eoghan Moloney, Independent, 7 January]

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Ministers Foley and Harris publish Education Indicators 2020 report: facts and figures on all aspects of the education system

Posted in Research on December 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science today announced the publication of Education Indicators 2020 – a special report which sets out to provide a comprehensive set of educational indicators for the education system in Ireland. The data in the report cover all levels of education …” (more)

[Department of Education, 28 December]

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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]

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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]

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Departmental Functions

Posted in Governance and administration on November 24th, 2020 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the transfer of research and innovation components from Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; when the transfer will be complete; if the units as they currently exist in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment will be transferred in their entirety; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 19 November]

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Next year’s Junior and Leaving Cert exams will take place ‘as normally as possible’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Next year’s Junior and Leaving Cert exams will take place ‘as normally as possible’ in line with public health advice, according to the Department of Education. In a statement, a department spokesman said all necessary measures will be put in place to ensure compliance with public health guidance in place at the time …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 November]

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‘Severe overestimation’ of Leaving Cert calculated grades by some schools – official

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on November 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The calculated grades awarded to students by some schools and teachers in the Leaving Cert had been a ‘severe overestimation’, officials from the Department of Education told an Oireachtas committee …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 10 November]

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Statement from the Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and the Department of Education and Skills regarding Leaving Certificate 2020 Calculated Grades Process

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on October 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has updated Leaving Certificate 2020 students on matters relating to the corrected, higher Calculated Grades which are to issue to some students. The Department of Education and Skills will re-open the student Calculated Grades portal at 6pm today, Saturday 3 October, and all students who are due to receive corrected, higher grades, will be able to access their results …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 3 October]

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The Department of Education loosening third-level grant requirements for asylum seekers is a step in the right direction, but not enough

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

Ireland“While students in direct provision no longer need to attend school in Ireland for three years, or obtain a Leaving Certificate to qualify for a college grant, structural inequalities in the education system persist for asylum seekers …” (more)

[Grace Gageby, Trinity News, 2 October]

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High Court case challenging UCC and CAO dropped

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on October 1st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“As calculated grades were released by the Department of Education, offers from the Central Applications Office (CAO) were made on Friday September 11th 2020. There was a mixed reaction to these results and subsequent offers, which was exacerbated by a media frenzy, as it was the first ever year of the ‘calculated grades’ process …” (more)

[Maebh McCarthy, University Express, 30 September]

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Scale of errors in Leaving Cert results rocks confidence in integrity of system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The disclosure that errors may have affected the results of thousands of Leaving Cert candidates has rocked confidence in the integrity of the calculated grades process. Until recently, the Government had breathed a sigh of relief. It had managed to avoid most of the chaos and confusion that marked the UK government’s shambolic handling of its calculated grades system …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 30 September]

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Statement from the Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and the Department of Education and Skills regarding Leaving Certificate 2020 Calculated Grades Process

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education and Skills has found two errors in the Leaving Certificate 2020 Calculated Grades process which mean that incorrect grades were issued to some students when they received their results on 7 September. The errors are being rectified and the process is being re-checked with a series of independent checks now underway …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 30 September]

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Errors found in Leaving Cert calculated grades system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Errors have been discovered with the Leaving Certificate calculated grades system with Minister for Education Norma Foley to make a significant announcement later on Wednesday, Independent.ie has learned. Government sources say an emergency helpline is being set up and Minister Foley will make an announcement at the Department of Education at around 4pm along with an official from the State Exams Commission …” (more)

[Hugh O’Connell, Senan Molony and Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 30 September]

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Second student wins calculated grades exclusion case

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

Ireland“A second home-schooled Leaving Certificate student who was excluded from this year’s Calculated Grades process has won their case in the High Court. In his ruling Mr Justice Charles Meenan said the Department of Education’s failure to provide a system for the unnamed student was irrational, arbitrary, unfair and unlawful …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 24 September]

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Class ranking information to be released to Leaving Cert students

Posted in Teaching on September 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Students who received calculated grades under this year’s Leaving Certificate process will be able to see the class ranking their teacher gave them from next Monday. The Department of Education says it is making the information available to students through the calculated grades online portal after receiving legal advice on the issue …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 22 September]

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