The problems with feeder school lists

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – ‘Feeder school’ lists (Feeder Schools 2019, December 3rd) promote a distorted view that educational success is dependent on students securing places on third-level courses that require high points. They also suggest that immediate progress to third level is the only choice worth valuing and recognising …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Solving the Leaving Cert Problem

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Roddy Doyle is the latest high profile person to suggest that the Leaving Cert (LC) is not fit for purpose. Although best known as a writer, Doyle is a former teacher in a disadvantaged school so his opinion should be treated with a bit more respect than that of, say, David McWilliams, who has dismissed the Leaving Cert as little more than a ‘pub quiz’. Nonetheless, I think his comments are useless, in the sense that they don’t contribute anything useful to the discussion …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 29 November]


Private school accused of heating up points race in fourth year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A private school has sparked controversy by introducing a new programme that it says allows students to cover large sections of the Leaving Cert curriculum over three years. The policy of the Department of Education is that the Leaving Certificate programme should be taught over a maximum of two years …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 November]

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Why are so many Leaving Cert students being upgraded?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“My child eventually started college – three weeks late – after being upgraded in the Leaving Cert and securing his first-choice course. What’s wrong with the correction process that leads to children having to appeal to secure grades they are entitled to? …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 12 November]

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Was the Leaving Cert harder in the past?

Posted in Teaching on November 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – As Sean Byrne points out in his letter (November 7th), matrices, calculus and complex numbers were on the Leaving Cert, rather than the Inter Cert in the mid-1990s. However, that isn’t how my friend remembered it, and this makes the point that our memories of our own exam experiences can be fallible …” (more)

[David Malone, Irish Times, 11 November]

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Maths and the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Teaching on November 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Seán Byrne (Letters, November 7th) bemoans ‘the absence of matrices, calculus and complex numbers’ from a ‘modern maths exam’. Continuing, he states, ‘The topics listed were never on the Intermediate Certificate but they were essential topics on the Leaving Certificate until the 1990s’ …” (more)

[Fintan Gibney, Irish Times, 8 November]

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Students call for overhaul of Leaving Cert programme

Posted in Teaching on November 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A consultation process on senior cycle education has found a strong appetite for change among students, parents and teachers who contributed, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 7 November]

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Was Leaving Certificate harder in past?

Posted in Teaching on November 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – In an article on the issue of whether the Leaving Certificate was harder in the past than it is today (Education, November 5th), Dr David Malone of Maynooth University is quoted as stating that his research on this topic was prompted by a Tweet from a friend of his decrying the absence of matrices, calculus and complex numbers from a ‘modern Maths exam’ …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 7 November]

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Was the Leaving Cert harder in the old days?

Posted in Teaching on November 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“What sort of so-called modern maths exam lacks matrices, calculus and complex numbers? Dr David Malone, a mathematician at Maynooth University, noticed the question posed by a friend on Twitter and he wondered: has our maths education been dumbed down? Malone dug out a copy of an old Intermediate Cert (the precursor to the Junior Cert) maths paper from the mid-90s, when his friend sat the exam …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 5 November]]


Universities told to find spaces for 35 students without college places

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Government Ministers have intervened to pressurise universities into providing college places for dozens of students who were told in recent days that they could not take up their places until next year. Thirty-five students were told last Thursday there was no college place for them in the current year after they secured places following rechecks and upgrades of their Leaving Cert exam papers, The Irish Times understands …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 September]

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Number of late CAO offers more than doubles

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The number of late CAO offers made to Leaving Cert candidates who were awarded a results upgrade has more than doubled to 594. It follows an almost doubling in applications for exam rechecks after major changes to the appeals process and, in turn, a doubling in the number of successful appeals to 2,916 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 23 September]

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Time for change in assessing Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on September 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The inequalities in our educational outcomes are stark. A soon-to-be released report from the Higher Education Authority indicates the strong connection between the more affluent members of our society and high results in the Leaving Cert and access to third level, particularly the future high-income courses such as medicine, business, and finance …” (more)

[Denise Burns and others, Irish Times, 19 September]

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Almost 3,000 Leaving Cert results upgraded in record year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Almost 3,000 Leaving Cert exam results have been upgraded after students successfully sought rechecks of their papers. The record number follows a surge in the number of rechecks this year, due mainly to reforms that have speeded up the appeals process and given students greater access to their exam papers online …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 September]

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Surge in Leaving Cert students appealing grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The number of Leaving Cert students seeking rechecks of their marks has surged by 75%, prompting the State Examinations Commission to reassure those appealing that it plans to issue their results on time. More than 9,000 students – or 16% of all candidates – appealed some 17,000 Leaving Cert grades this year, the highest number on record …” (more)

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

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Girls outperform boys in most Leaving Cert subjects at higher level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Girls have once again outperformed boys in a majority of higher level subjects in this year’s Leaving Cert. A gender breakdown of the results shows girls secured a higher proportion of top grades – H1s, H2s and H3s, or 70-100% – across most subjects …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 August]

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‘Reform Leaving Cert to bring it into 21st century’ – Ibec says radical overhaul of senior cycle needed to prepare students better for future world of work

Posted in Teaching on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Cert must be made more relevant for the 21st century, according to employers. As up to 59,000 students from the class of 2019 received their results, the employers’ group Ibec said reform of senior cycle and careers guidance was necessary to better prepare students for the future world of work …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly and Evie Kearney, Independent, 14 August]

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Does the Leaving prepare students for third level

Posted in Teaching on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I’m sure I’ve written about his before but I’m returning to it today because is has come up on social media today. Here’s the context: many academics bemoan the ‘fact’ that students arrive in college unprepared for the challenges that await them. By all accounts, incoming students cannot think critically and they rely way too much on rote learning …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 13 August]

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Education Minister denies new Leaving Cert undermines system: ‘We’re moving away from concept of failure’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has denied that the change in awarded Leaving Certificate points has undermined the system. A record number sat higher level papers this year with students likely attracted by changes in the grading system in 2017 allowing candidates who achieve between 30-39% at higher level to earn CAO points …” (more)

[Evie Kearney, Independent, 13 August]

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Education Minister: Composition of Government makes it difficult to make fundamental changes to third level education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Joe McHugh has defended the government’s delay in implementing the Cassells report saying that it is ‘very difficult to get business through parliament because of the weakness of this government’. ‘I think it will take a new composition government to bring a big fundamental change around this’, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland …” (more)

[, 13 August]

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The Leaving Cert and anti-intellectualism

Posted in Teaching on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“In Ireland, this is the day when every punter who has ever been to school and thinks they know a thing or two about education, appears out of the woodwork to give their tuppence worth on the Leaving Cert. I hate it but I can’t stop myself getting involved in pointless debates on Twitter …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 13 August]