Simon Harris backs overhaul of Leaving Cert and college admissions system

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

Ireland“There ‘must be a better way’ to decide on third-level admissions than the Leaving Cert, the Minister for Further Education has said. Speaking in Dublin on Wednesday, Simon Harris said he is not sure the current exam and points race is ‘the right way to go’, referring to the fact that a number of students who achieved maximum marks in the Leaving Cert could still miss out on their preferred course due to their being more students applying than places available …” (more)

[Paul Hosford, Irish Examiner, 8 September]

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Extra university places are needed in future – expert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert grade inflation means measures are likely to be needed for next year’s exam students to make sure they have fair access to higher and further education …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 5 September]

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Girls get Leaving Cert results boost from ‘unconscious bias’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“There is evidence of ‘unconscious bias’ in favour of girls in the estimated marks provided by schools for this year’s Leaving Cert students, according to an official analysis of grades. A report by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) says while female students do better on average than males in exams, the gender gap was wider in school estimates compared to traditional exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 September]

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Leaving Cert student almost lost place at London university due to results delay

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A student who received eight H1 grades in his Leaving Certificate has said that a decision not to publish the results until September 3rd nearly lost him his place at the prestigious King’s College in London …” (more)

[Olivia Kelleher, Irish Times, 4 September]

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Colleges expect spike in random selection

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Universities fear they will have to restrict entry to more high-points courses on the basis of ‘random selection’ this year due to record-breaking Leaving Cert results. Results this year climbed to a new high with a sharp increase in the number of students securing top H1 grades …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 September]

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Has the Leaving Certificate been ‘dumbed down’?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“‘We’re thrilled with the results – they are record-breaking’, beamed Yvonne O’Toole, principal of the Institute of Education in Dublin, shortly after the school’s Leaving Cert results appeared on her computer screen. ‘As a school, we’re like a community. We cried with excitement when we saw them’ …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 September]

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Evidence of Leaving Cert grade inflation across the board

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

Ireland“In any ordinary year, Leaving Cert grades stay roughly the same, with the bell curve ensuring no significant deviation. Last year, with the Leaving Cert cancelled and teachers estimating their students’ marks, everyone anticipated that the number of top grades would rise – and it did …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 3 September]

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Record Leaving Cert grades to tighten race for college places

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

Ireland“Another record set of Leaving Cert grades will drive up points for college entry when CAO offers are made next week. More than 61,000 Leaving Cert candidates are today receiving results that show an average 2.6% grade inflation on last year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 3 September]

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Exam chiefs cannot guarantee date of Leaving Cert appeals results

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

Ireland“Exam chiefs cannot give a guarantee of when the results of any Leaving Cert appeals will be known. It could have implications for students to secure a desired college place, if they were not eligible for it in the normal CAO rounds …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 26 August]

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CAO to issue 6,163 offers of college places

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Central Applications Office will today issue a total of 6,163 offers of college places to students. Round zero offers are made to CAO applicants who are not competing with students awaiting Leaving Certificate 2021 grades, or who are assessed on other criteria …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 5 August]

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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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Leaving Cert points for some high-demand courses set to rise this year

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

Ireland“The points needed in this year’s Leaving Certificate for some high-demand third-level courses, such as medicine and pharmacy, are set to rise, it has emerged. Seven-hundred 2020 Leaving Cert students, who sat written exams last November, were awarded places on Wednesday in higher-points courses than they were awarded by the Central Applications Office (CAO) last year …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 7 July]

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Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on July 5th, 2021 by steve

IrelandCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of plans to reform the leaving certificate exams; her engagement with the State Examinations Commission in respect of same; and if she envisages a blended and or option for continued assessment to become a permanent choice for students …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 1 July]

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Supreme Court to hear Minister’s appeal over homeschooled students’ calculated grades

Posted in Governance and administration on June 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a further appeal by the Minister for Education over findings that the constitutional rights of two homeschooled students were breached by their exclusion from the 2020 Leaving Certificate calculated grades process …” (more)

[EchoLive, 28 June]

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Leaving Cert – Timeframe

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 17th, 2021 by steve

IrelandMarc Ó Cathasaigh (Waterford, Green Party): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her attention has been drawn to the possible challenges facing leaving certificate students in accessing entry to universities outside of Ireland and the UK arising from the later than the usual date of issuing of leaving certificate results; the plans she has in place to ensure that concerned students will not be affected by the late issuing of their results; and if she will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 15 June]

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Student challenges refusal to allow private tutors input into calculated grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on June 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A Leaving Certificate student’s High Court challenge over a refusal to allow private tutors assist in assessing his calculated grades will not be heard until July 2nd. The boy, who cannot be named, had received private tutoring because he had not been attending his school after refusing to obey a requirement that he wear a face mask in the common areas …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 16 June]

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Leaving Certs will not miss CAO offers due to delayed results, says Harris

Posted in Governance and administration on June 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said this year’s Leaving Certificate students will not miss out on CAO offers despite the delay in the date for results. The CAO and universities have all agreed to accommodate the later timeline, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland after it was announced on Wednesday that results would not be issued until September 3rd …” (more)

[Vivienne Clarke, BreakingNews.ie, 3 June]

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Leaving Cert students must wait until September 3rd to get results

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Tens of thousands of Leaving Cert students will have to wait until early September before receiving their results and CAO offers. Minister for Education Norma Foley has confirmed that students will be able to access their results online on Friday, September 3rd. It is likely that CAO round one offers for college applicants will follow shortly afterwards in the week beginning Monday, September 6th …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 June]

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Third Level Admissions – Leaving Certificate class of 2020

Posted in Governance and administration on May 29th, 2021 by steve

IrelandAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the accommodation that has been made to ensure that students of the class of 2020 that never got to finish their courses, that received calculated grades in 2020, sat the leaving certificate in 2020 and are being expected to await the first round of CAO offers in September in 2021 to know their fate in relation to their preferred choice of university course thus forcing them to compete for limited places in specialist courses such as radiography or biomedical science with the leaving certificate class of 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 27 May]

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Will teachers be tempted to inflate Leaving Cert students’ grades this year?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on May 25th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“If you told teachers in 2019 that the Leaving Cert exams would be cancelled and they’d all be marking their own students, they might have laughed at you and then threatened to strike. But now, in the second year of the pandemic, teachers are – reluctantly, in many cases – set to mark their own students again …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 25 May]

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