80pc of Leaving Cert students signed up for accredited grades or to sit exams with 24 hours to go

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Four in five Leaving Cert candidates have registered to receive accredited grades and/or sit the June exams, with 24 hours left to the deadline. All students entered for Leaving Cert 2021 have been asked register on the Candidate Self Service Portal (CSSP) on gov.ie/LeavingCertificate before 6pm on Tuesday March 16 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 March]

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Will grade inflation affect my hopes of securing a course in the UK or Ireland?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 16th, 2021 by steve

IrelandWe live in Donegal and my daughter has applied for college places through Ucas and the CAO. Given recent changes in the UK and Ireland regarding how students will receive their grades in 2021, will this affect entry requirements? Firstly, let’s be clear on how students will be assessed and graded in both jurisdictions …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 16 March]

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Govt discusses sanctions over Leaving Cert calculated grades process

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on March 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Anyone seeking to improperly influence the Leaving Certificate calculated grades process is likely to face sanctions. Cabinet discussed the matter as part of an Education Amendment Bill which is focused on the accredited grades system, operated by the State Examinations Commission …” (more)

[Mícheál Lehane, RTÉ News, 9 March]

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Minister loses appeals over home-schooled Leaving Cert students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education has lost her appeals over findings two home-schooled students were unfairly and unlawfully excluded from the Leaving Certificate calculated grades process. In a 127-page judgment on Tuesday, the three judge Court of Appeal (COA), comprising Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly, Ms Justice Mary Faherty and Ms Justice Una Ní Raifeartaigh dismissed the appeals concerning High Court findings in separate cases by the two students …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Leaving Cert: Grade inflation needs to be addressed as a priority

Posted in Governance and administration on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Fighting Covid-19 has forced many previously unthinkable changes to life as we knew it. In doing so, it has done one significant service by exposing some of the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of the Leaving Certificate. It is an exam that provokes an annual media frenzy around grades and entry to third level, almost as if there is no other purpose to the exercise …” (more)

[Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Sherry v The Minister for Education and Skills and others [2021] IEHC 128 (2 March 2021)

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

Ireland“The fight to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus has involved the imposition by the State of restrictions on almost every aspect of our lives. The young, the old, those with disabilities, and those without have all been affected, some to a greater degree than others. To halt the spread of the virus, it is necessary to limit, if not restrict entirely, the circumstances under which people meet and congregate. In excess of 62,000 students were due to sit the Leaving Certificate in 2020 …” (more)

Sherry v The Minister for Education and Skills and Others (Approved) [2021] IEHC 128 (2 March 2021)

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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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High Court dismisses student’s challenge over Leaving Cert calculated grades process

Posted in Governance and administration on March 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A High Court judge has dismissed the lead challenge over the calculated grades process adopted for the Leaving Certificate 2020 exam in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A core issue in the case was whether the Minister for Education’s direction to remove school historical data in the calculated grades process was unlawful …” (more)

[Tim Healy, Independent, 2 March]

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Gender bias and predicted grades

Posted in Teaching on March 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – A decision has been made to use predicted grades again for the 2021 Leaving Certificate, as well as optional actual exams. When teachers and schools are predicting the grades of their students, they should be aware that in 2020 there was a bias in favour of female students and against male students. How do I know there was bias against males? The Department of Education report on the predicted grades in 2020 says so and has some interesting data to illustrate it …” (more)

[Oliver Murphy, Irish Times, 2 March]

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Leaving Cert: High Court to rule on challenge to 2020 calculated grades process

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A High Court judge will rule on Tuesday on the lead challenge over the calculated grades process adopted for the Leaving Certificate 2020 exam in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Justice Charles Meenan heard the lead action by Freddie Sherry, who was a 2020 Leaving Cert student at Belvedere College, Dublin, over some five weeks before the case concluded in early February …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 1 March]

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Two-tier education system

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The Irish Times reported on the potential penalisation of some students due to the removal of historical school data from the grade calculation process (‘Leaving Cert – removing school data risked penalising some students’, News, February 22nd) …” (more)

[Reamonn O’Luan, Irish Times, 27 February]

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Grades and high-performing schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I refer to the article ‘Leaving Cert – removing school data risked penalising some students’ (News, February 22nd). In light of the contents of this article and having reviewed the arrangements for the upcoming Leaving Cert, I am extremely concerned about the fairness of the Leaving Cert accredited grade process for 2021 …” (more)

[Harry Deacon, Irish Times, 26 February]

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Leaving Cert mock exams not allowed for accredited grades process, schools told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Schools will be told they cannot not use the results of mock exams as a basis for estimating marks for Leaving Cert students under the accredited grades process. The ‘mocks’ are a familiar part of the run-up to the June exams and most schools hold them, usually the January and February of sixth year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 24 February]

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Leaving Cert: Removing school data risked penalising some students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government was warned some students risked being ‘thrown under the bus’ due to its decision to remove school performance data from the calculated grades system used in last year’s Leaving Certificate. The comment is contained in internal Department of Education records, seen by The Irish Times, which throw fresh light over a decision to omit ‘school profiling’ from the calculated grades process …” (more)

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

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Leaving Cert students to be offered calculated grades or exam

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

Ireland“Leaving Cert students are to be offered a choice between a modified version of calculated grades or written exams under plans signed off on today by the Government, the Minister for Education has confirmed. This follows two weeks of intense confidential talks between the Department of Education and the second-level teachers’ unions …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Aoife Moore and Caitlín Griffin, Irish Examiner, 17 February]

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Lobbying for Leaving Cert grades will break new law

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on February 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Anyone who tries to lobby a teacher in the hope of achieving favourable grades for a Leaving Cert student this year will be breaking the law. It is one of the measures to be included in legislation being introduced to support the twin-track approach to assessing 63,000 school-leavers in 2021. Lobbying by parents and students was actively discouraged last year and principals were advised to report any such incidents to the education authorities …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 18 February]

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Taoiseach rejects call for cancellation of Leaving Cert exams

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on February 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Micheál Martin has rejected a call for the Leaving Certificate exams to be cancelled and for a university place to be offered to every student who wants one. He also rejected claims that the Government had been ‘dithering’ over the status of the exams and said it was engaging with all the education partners to give students the clarity on the exams that they need …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 17 February]

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Judgment on Leaving Cert calculated grades case due within weeks

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on February 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A High Court judge will give judgment within the coming weeks on the lead challenge over the calculated grades process adopted for the Leaving Certificate 2020 exam in response to the Covid pandemic. On Wednesday, Mr Justice Charles Meenan, when case managing some 60 other actions brought over the calculated grades, said he was adjourning those for further mention to March 10th …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 17 February]

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Junior Cert is likely to be cancelled to allow focus on Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on February 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“This year’s Junior Cert exams for 60,000 students look likely to be cancelled after education authorities confirmed that it will not be possible to hold the exams alongside the Leaving Cert in June. It seems likely that alternative assessment arrangements will be implemented for Junior Cert students this year, in a similar manner to last year, according to a number of well-placed sources …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 February]

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Leaving Cert talks between Government and teacher unions to continue

Posted in Teaching on February 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Intensive talks between the Government and teacher unions will continue on Monday in a bid to find agreement on this year’s Leaving Cert State exam. Both sides held confidential discussions throughout the weekend, but Government sources said there was no certainty that agreement could be reached in time for Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Sarah Burns, Simon Carswell and Anne Lucey, Irish Times, 15 February]

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