Tag Archives: Leaving Cert

This morning.

More than 60,000 students are receiving their Leaving Cert results today.

Via RTÉ:

Grades are up by an average of 2.4 percentage points compared to last year. However the increase is greater across many higher level subjects.

This is likely to fuel a rise in points for many college courses when CAO offers are made next Tuesday.

…These increases come on top of 2020 results that were themselves significantly inflated compared to previous years, with a 4.4 percentage average rise recorded last year.

Further rise in top grades for Leaving Cert students (RTÉ)



In fairness.

From top: Minister for Education Norma Foley; Department of Education briefing note

Last night/This morning.

Mandarin Chinese using simplified script was introduced as a new subject on the Leaving Cert curriculum in 2019. Ireland is the only country to refuse to accept traditional script.


Controversy already surrounds the new exam over a ban on traditional Chinese characters, used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, in favour of China’s simplified script, which the Department said was more suitable for beginners.

RTÉ has learnt that the Department of Education signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Ministry of Education agreeing “support for implementation of the Leaving Certificate curriculum, particularly in relation to teacher supply and teacher training”.

In response to a request for a copy of the agreement and minutes of a meeting with Chinese officials in July 2019, a Department spokesperson said that the Chinese Ministry of Education and the Chinese Embassy would first need to be consulted “to ensure there is no objection to the release” and in order to “maintain codes of good practice and courtesy.”

Some academics argue that the Communist Party has an interest in promoting its script above alternative writing systems because they provide a gateway to diverse political and historical narratives, at odds with its own.

New questions over China’s role in Leaving Cert exam (RTÉ)



Last night.

Prime Time on RTÉ One.

Carlosfandango writes:

ASTI President Ann Piggott or Mystic Meg?

YOU decide.


This morning.

Via RTÉ:

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris expressed disappointment over the ASTI’s decision to step away from the talks.

He said Minister for Education Norma Foley had been trying her best to find a way forward that serves students well.

ASTI pulled out of the talks in protest at what it said was the prioritisation of a calculated grade-type assessment over the sitting of exams.

Union officials are due to meet Minister Foley this afternoon but they said it should not be viewed as an agreement to enter formal talks.

The ASTI said the meeting will take place in the context of discussing their decision to leave the talks yesterday.

‘Beyond unhelpful’ to walk away from exam talks – Harris (RTÉ)


This afternoon.

Asked if the State exams will take place, [Green Party leader and Transport Minister] Eamon Ryan said: “The first priority is getting special needs students back but the second priority is getting Leaving Cert students back in school, and we will be able, in my mind, to do a written Leaving Cert.”

He said the Leaving Cert is “the fairest system” and it would be good for the mental health of students to hold it.


Eamon Ryan believes Leaving Cert exam will go ahead (Irish Examiner)


This morning.

Further to a call by Fianna Fáil Senator Timmy Dooley for the Leaving Cert to be scrapped this year….

…on Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio One

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland has again said that the Leaving Certificate exams should run as normal in June, despite a call for it to be called off this year.

…the unions President Anne Piggot said students are not in the classroom because of level of virus transmission and that students and teachers will be returning to the classroom as soon as possible…

….Ms Piggot said that it seems quite unusual that someone from the Minister for Education’s party should be calling for the cancellation of the state exams, particularly when the Minister has committed to them going ahead

ASTI reiterates Leaving Cert should go ahead (RTÉ)


Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) General Secretary Michael Gillespie

This morning.

About that Leaving Cert…

“Our expectation is that the exams will go ahead – we think it’s very important that the exams go ahead.

“Maybe the mocks should be delayed and they do not need to be as big a priority given the situation we find ourselves in. They are a moveable feast.”

“Orals and practicals take place much later in the year and we would hope that by that time, the very high risk students and teachers will all have had their vaccinations.”

Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) General Secretary Michael Gillespie on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland earlier.


A proposal to close schools for the rest of January, due to rising Covid-19 infections, will be considered later this afternoon by the Government’s Cabinet sub-committee on coronavirus.

The three Coalition leaders and at least six ministers will participate in the deliberations.

However, a final decision will only be taken at a full Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

TUI expects exams to go ahead, says mocks are ‘a moveable feast’ (RTÉ)


150 Hinchey Avenue (centre), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This morning.

Leaving cert grade coder Polymetrika International Inc, was paid €163,000 by the Department of Education without a tendering process.

Initially awarded a contract worth €71,500, it was paid a further €91,000 at a rate of more than €1,100 a day to help provide coding services for the calculated grades system.

Via The Irish Times;

Polymetrika International Inc is based out of a residential home in Ottawa, according to company records.

The company’s chief executive is Dr Fernando Cartwright, though it is not clear from the firm’s website or other records whether other employees or contractors are based at the address of 150 Hinchey Avenue.

Dr Cartwright has previously been involved in research papers which have involved the Education and Research Centre in Dublin.

He was not available for comment on Thursday when a reporter called to the address.


Firm linked to errors in Leaving Cert results paid €163,000 (irish Times)


Minister for Education Norma Foley addressing the Dáil tonight

This evening.

Minister for Education Norma Foley made a statement to the Dáil about the two code errors, out of 50,000 lines of code, in the Leaving Certificate calculated grades system which have resulted in thousands of students getting incorrect results.

She said it’s possible that 6,500 students were wrongly given lower results than they should have received, while potentially another 6,500 students may have been given higher results than they should have received.

The errors were detected by a Canadian firm involved in the process, Polymetrika International Inc.

Ms Foley explained:

“The system was meant to take a number of factors into account in computing the Leaving Certificate results. Among these were the results of the students’ junior cycle examinations which were considered at an aggregated class level.

“It is important to say that the junior cycle results of individuals were not being used to predict or influence their Leaving Certificate result. The data was to be used at an aggregated class level.

“The system was meant to draw on the core subjects of Irish, English and Maths and combine them with the students’ two best non-core subjects.

“The coding error, instead, combined them with the students’ two weakest non-core subjects.

“In the course of the review, the Calculated Grades Executive Office immediately undertook on Friday, staff found a further error in the code…

“The results of the subjects Civic Social and Political Education, CSPE, were meant to be disregarded by the system. They weren’t. They had been included in error.”


While we do not yet have the final figures and we won’t have final figures until the independent review, which is underway, has been completed, our checks to date indicate that the error has affected approximately 7,200 grades.

“There were over 400,000 calculated grades in total issued on September 7.

As a result of both errors, approximately 6,500 students received at least one result which was one grade lower than they should have. That is being rectified.

“In addition to the students who have received a lower grade then they should have in this year’s Leaving Certificate, some students received a higher grade. They will not be affected in any way. Their grades stand.

“Those who have received a lower grade will have a proper grade restored. When all the checks are completed, we’ll ensure the corrected results to the students affected, we will issue the corrected results to the students affected.

“As soon as it is possible to do so, every student will be contacted by text message and informed whether they are impacted or not.”


Rise TD Mick Barry had the following exchange with Ms Foley.

Mick Barry: “In addition to the students who received a lower grade than they should have in this year’s Leaving Certificate, some students received a higher grade. How many?”

Norma Foley: “It, as I have said previously, it is difficult to know the finite number of students until all the checks and reviews and balances have been put in place. But in terms of the students, as you have referenced, who will go up by at least one grade, we are estimating at this point, that we are talking about approximately 6,500 students and that is an estimate at this stage.

“So I can only estimate, that when students go up, you’re perhaps talking about a similar number but again I’m not a statistician and I wouldn’t have that information fully available to you until the review is complete…”

Barry: “Sure, I’ll…I’m not expecting an exact figure. But just to be clear, so, when you say that in addition to the students who received a lower grade, some students received a higher grade, you think that as many as 6,500 students could have received a higher grade?

Foley:I can’t say that definitively to you, deputy but I’m going to assume that if the estimate is that number will go up by one grade, there is every chance that we might be talking about a similar number…”

Watch live here

Taoiseach, Micheál Martin (left) and Minister for Education Norma Foley

This morning.


Via RTÉ:

Ms Foley is set to make a statement in the Dáil today about errors discovered in this year’s Leaving Certificate calculated grades process.

The full impact of the mistake, and the exact number of students affected, will only be known when a second review of all marks awarded is completed.

Universities have warned that they do not have the capacity to offer places to all students who may receive a new CAO offer on foot of upgraded Leaving Certificate results.

Among the questions unanswered as yet: when will the students who have been affected be told?

Minister admits some students may have to defer college place (RTÉ)

Yesterday: The New Norma