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There's been a huge increase in the number of Leaving Cert appeals

The increase comes after last year’s legal challenge.

Leaving Cert students from 2018 in Pobalscoil Neasain, Baldoyle.
Leaving Cert students from 2018 in Pobalscoil Neasain, Baldoyle.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Updated Aug 30th 2019, 11:00 AM

THERE HAS BEEN huge increase in the number of Leaving Cert students who have appealed results this year.

The State Examinations Commission has said that 9,049 students have appealed more than 17,037 grades.

That’s a 74% increase on the number of students appealing compared to last year, when 5,197 candidates appealed results.

Overall, 16% of Leaving Cert students this year have appealed results, up from 9% last year.  

Per subject, over 17,037 grades have been appealed this year compared to 9,087 last year, an 87% increase.

Higher level Biology has seen the largest number of appeals this year with 2,092 followed by Higher Level Irish, English and Maths. 

Last year, 16% of papers that were appealed were upgraded. There were just five downgrades.

The huge upsurge in the number appeals this year comes after changes were made to the CAO timeline this year following a High Court case last year.

The legal action was taken by student Rebecca Carter, who won a judicial review case to have her amended results considered by the State Examinations Commission.

Her results had been incorrectly totted up meaning her points score fell marginally short of achieving that necessary to earn a place studying veterinary medicine at UCD.

Carter claimed that under the previous timeframe for processing appeals, she would have not been able to commence that course in the current academic year, but would have instead been required to accept a deferred offer for the following year.

The State Examinations Commission has acknowledged that the appeals process “has been in focus since last year”, contributing the upsurge in students availing of it.  

“The SEC has been very active in alerting examination candidates to the revised timelines this year which has heightened awareness of the viewing and appeals processes among candidates,” it said.

“The services were also more accessible to candidates as the viewing and appeals applications were provided online through the portal. For the first time this year, candidates were provided with the marks that they achieved in all subjects including the individual component marks in multi component subjects.”

LEAVING IT LATE: Does the system for appealing Leaving Cert results work and is it fit for purpose? >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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