As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic a system of Calculated Grades was put in place by my predecessor due to the inability to run the normal Leaving Certificate examinations this year. The purpose of this process is to allow as many students as possible to progress to employment, further education and training, or higher education in a way that is fair and equitable to all Leaving Certificate students.
On 16 July, I announced that students will receive their Calculated Grades on 7 September. This is the earliest possible release date given the rigorous and robust quality assurance checks required to ensure the process has executed with equity and fairness to all students and to ensure that the 2020 results enjoy the same status as those of previous years.
CAO Round 1 offers will issue on 11 September, and prospective students will have until 16 September to reply to this offer. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are currently working through their arrangements for first year students in light of the announced results date, and will publish these details as soon as they are available.
As in other years, the results will have been provided to the CAO and to UCAS a short time in advance, so confirmation of first round college places from colleges in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will issue to students on 7 September.
I have also written to my European counterparts to inform them of the release date of the Calculated Grades and to seek flexibility for Irish students who have applied to European institutions of higher education.