The Leaving Cert exams have been officially postponed this year following a historic move by the Department of Education.
Ireland’s 61,000 Leaving Cert students are to be offered the option of receiving Calculated Grades.
In addition, and in the spirit of fairness to all students, the option of sitting the examinations remains open. But this can only happen when it is safe to do so, and it is not yet known when.
Students will all receive predicted grades – but how will they be calculated?
Here is the Department’s plan:
- There are two main phases in the process of arriving at a calculated grade: School-based and national standardisation.
- Teachers will be asked to provide a professional judgment of each student’s attainment which will be subjected to a rigorous in-school alignment process to ensure fairness.
- The school principal will approve the estimated scores being provided and the rankings of each student in each subject in the school.
- A special unit is being established within the Department of Education and Skills to process the data provided by each school and operate national standardisation, again to ensure fairness amongst all students.
- The Department will finalise the grades for each student which will be issued to each student as close as possible to the traditional date. Formal State certification will also be provided.
- Students will retain the right to appeal. This will involve checks on school-entered data; correct transfer of that data to the Department; a review that it was correctly received and processed by the Department; and a verification of the Department’s processes by independent appeal scrutineers.
- Students will also retain the right to the sit the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations at a date in the future when it is deemed safe for state examinations to be held.
The process of arriving at a Calculated Grade applies to: Established Leaving Certificate – subjects, Leaving Certificate Applied – subjects, tasks and vocational specialists and Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme – Link Modules.
Both phases of the revised Leaving Cert will be underpinned by principles of teacher professionalism, support for students, objectivity, fairness and equity, collaboration and timeliness.
Furthermore, there will be no Leaving Certificate fee this year. All exam fees which have been paid will be refunded.
The Department of Education has published a guide on the new system of Calculated Grades on https://www.education.ie/en/Learners/Information/State-Examinations/a-guide-to-calculated-grades-for-leaving-certificate-students-2020.pdf
Other guidance materials for students, teachers and parents, including wellbeing guides, are available on: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/d8920c-leaving-cert-2020/