On Wednesday September 30th, it was announced that a possible 7,200 students who received predicted Leaving Cert grades have had a grade miscalculated as a result of an error in the calculation process. Minister Foley has said that 6,500 students will have one exam grade upgraded following the realisation of two errors in the ‘coding’ process.

The Department of Education will look to work with the CAO (Central Applications Office) and individual Third-Level Institutions to ensure students affected by the recent issue with Leaving Certificate calculated grades, Minister for Education, Norma Foley has said. 

At a press conference, Minister Foley acknowledged that “this is not an ideal situation for students” but that “an offer will be made” to students who would have received a higher CAO course offer, should they have received these changed grades first time around. She said went on to say that the Department will be “working with” the Department of Higher Education to “do everything possible” for students who wish to change courses.

Students will be offered places in courses for this academic year “where possible”, despite most courses having already begun. Students will be facilitated to change courses where places are available. However, should students be unable to take up their reinstated offer this academic year due to lack of places or otherwise, they will be able to defer the place until 2021.

Both errors in the grade calculation process relate to the inclusion of Junior Certificate exam results in the calculation process. One error came to light during checks being made my Canadian company ‘Polymetrika International Inc.’ on the calculated grades on Tuesday 23th September. Where the system was meant to include English, Irish and Mathematics grades alongside two non-core subjects, it instead included the student’s two weakest non-core subjects. The second error occurred when C.S.P.E grades were wrongly included in the calculation.

Students who should have a grade downgraded as a result of the system fault, will not have their grade changed, as Minister Foley highlighted that the error “will not disadvantage any student.”

The calculation process is currently under review by an independent body, the ETS (Educational Testing Services) alongside the Department of Education and Polymetrika, which is likely to be concluded in the coming days.

Gemma Farrell, Assistant News Editor