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Home-schooled student will get Leaving Cert grades on the same day as other students

The teen’s work will be assessed in the same manner by an independent teacher.

Mr Justice Meenan welcomed the timetabled arrangements that had been put in place.
Mr Justice Meenan welcomed the timetabled arrangements that had been put in place.
Image: The Irish Image Collection

ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN put in place by the Minister for Education to allow a home-schooled Leaving Cert student to get any calculated grades he is awarded at the same time as all other candidates. 

Elijah Burke who successfully challenged the Minister’s decision to exclude him from the calculated grades process will receive any grades awarded to him by 7 September, when more than 60,000 other students will get their results.

The Minister had refused to give the student a calculated grade because he had been taught by his mother Martina Burke, a qualified teacher.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan in his ruling had directed the minister to put steps in place to allow Burke and other home-schooled students excluded from the system because they had been home-schooled by a parent or close relative, be assessed for a calculated grade.

Earlier this week it emerged that while the Minister was putting steps in place to allow Burke be assessed for a calculated grade, there was no guarantee that he would receive any results at the same time as other candidates.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan expressed his concerns over that lack of a guarantee, and the potential effect this might have on the student regarding the CAO’s First Round offers for places in third level education.

At the High Court today, Brendan Hennessy Bl for Elijah Burke said significant progress had been made between the parties over how and when Burke’s course work is to be assessed, and graded.

Hennessy, instructed by solicitor Eileen McCabe said that Burke’s work is to be assessed by independent teachers from the Mayo Education and Training Board.

The teen’s work will be assessed in the same manner by an independent teacher as an in-school student who had been educated by a parent or close relative.

Any grades he receives in the nine Leaving Cert subjects he studied are to be awarded by 7 September counsel said.

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Mr Justice Meenan welcomed the timetabled arrangements that had been put in place. The judge praised both sides for their efforts to deal such a complex matter within a short space of time.

In a judgement earlier this month Mr Justice Meenan quashed the Minister’s decision and held that the calculated grade system which excludes home schooled students on the grounds that a teacher has a conflict of interest was “irrational, unreasonable and unlawful.”

The minister had argued that it was not possible to give Elijah a calculated grade for any of the nine subjects he has studied due to an absence of credible evidence from an appropriate source on which to base a grade. 

Burke hopes to study either Biomedical Sciences or History with Music at NUIG is from Cloonsunna, Castlebar, Co Mayo.

He is one of ten siblings who have all been educated at home by their mother.

About the author:

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

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