We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Dáil this afternoon.

Two errors identified in Leaving Cert Calculated Grades system, about 6,000 students affected

Education Minister Norma Foley will make a comprehensive statement on the matter later today.

LAST UPDATE | 30 Sep 2020

TAOISEACH MICHEÁl MARTIN has said that two errors have been identified in the Leaving Cert calculated grades system. 

Martin told the Dáil of the issue this afternoon and said Education Minister Norma Foley will make a comprehensive statement on the matter later today. 

“The Department of Education and Skills has found to my understanding two errors in the Leaving Cert 2020 Calculated Grades. My understanding is that the Minister for Education will be making a comprehensive statement today in relation to this,” the Taoiseach said.

“In terms of what has occurred, the measures taken to rectify that, the rechecking of that process, and bringing in independent external evaluation.”

The Taoiseach added that some students may have received higher results as a result of the errors. 

“The priority has to be the students themselves, in terms of how they received this information, the students who may have received grade upgrades in terms of some of their grades as a result of these errors, they have to be communicated with first,” he said.

It’s understood that about 6,000 students have been affected by the errors and some 800-900 students missed out on third level places as a result. 

The Taoiseach provided the details after Labour leader Alan Kelly had asked if any problems had been identified with the system. 

Kelly said it appeared to his colleague Aodhán Ó Riordáin TD that some education officials had “gone to ground” and he asked the Taoiseach was there a reason for this. 

“Our education spokesperson has been following up with quite an amount of students who were appealing Leaving Cert results. But the Department of Education seems to have gone to ground all of a sudden, so I’m just wondering if there’s some issue here, that we need to know about?,” Kelly asked the Taoiseach.

Providing further details of the issue, the Taoiseach said the department became aware of the issue last week but wanted to investigate the problem before making the issue public. 

“The company Polymetrica, who discovered the error in the code initially they informed the department about it. They’ve since been correcting the piece of code. It’s now operating as intended, the Department of Education and Skills found a secondary error while performing checks related to rectifying the first error, and the department were very anxious that they would get all of the issues resolved and to understand fully what was involved here before going public on it,” he said.

Speaking after the Taoiseach’s comments, Ó Riordáin accused the government of “another foul up” and said Foley should have been making an immediate statement on the matter. 

“Yet another foul up from the Department of Education in relation to the Leaving Cert. First we had the Leaving Cert postponed, we had the calculated grades system replacing the Leaving Cert. We then had the results date postponed. And now it’s reported that 10% of all students have had an error in their calculated grades,” Ó Riordáin said.

Both Kelly and Richard Boyd-Barrett TD said that it amounts to “cock-up” by the department. 

“It’s extraordinary. Any other government at any other time. This is bringing it down,” Kelly said. 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel