Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Ceisteanna (521)

Seán Haughey


521. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Education the method used by her Department in determining appeals submitted by students in respect of calculated grades awarded to them in the leaving certificate 2020; if the reasons for not upholding appeals can be given to the affected students; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38780/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

The 2020 Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades appeals process has concluded and the appeal outcomes were made available to students at 12pm on Friday 16 October through the Calculated Grades Student Portal.

In the processing of the appeals, a total of 33,301 individual subject records belonging to 12,216 students were reviewed. This number excludes students who initially entered for an appeal but later withdrew their application.

As a result of the process, a total of 18 increased grades were awarded to 18 individual students. Eleven of these were upgrades following an appeal by the student. A further seven grades were upgraded following quality assurance checks as part of the appeals process which involved checks on the documentation submitted by schools; the entry of that data on to the schools' data collection system; and the subsequent transmission of the data through the various IT systems used in the generation of calculated grades.

The appeals process was a process review focussed on looking for errors in the transmission and processing of student data through the process. It was not possible to appeal the information (estimated percentage mark or rank order) provided by the school. Due to the nature of the Calculated Grades system the professional judgement of the school was outside of the appeals process. The design of the statistical model and the application of the national standardisation process was also outside of the scope of the appeals process.

The CAO were also notified of changes to students’ results on 16 October. Candidates who are eligible for a new offer as a result of the upgraded mark received following the appeals process will be contacted as soon as possible.

Students unhappy with the outcome of the above process could invoke a separate process to have their appeal reviewed by independent Appeals Scrutineers. These scrutineers are independent of my Department. The independent Appeals Scrutineers will check to ensure the correct procedures were followed throughout the appeals process. The scrutineers will have access to the records and documentation considered in the appeals process.

The closing date for application to this process was Friday 23 October. Applications for this stage of the appeals process were submitted by 302 candidates in respect of 900 subject results. Every effort will be made to complete this review stage as quickly as possible and to provide the outcomes to students. At this stage, it is not possible to specify the exact timescale for completion of the review process.

Following the conclusion of the appeals processes, students who consider that their case has not been processed correctly can make a complaint to the Ombudsman or, in the case of students under 18 years of age, the Ombudsman for Children.

Students were also given the opportunity to register for the postponed Leaving Certificate examinations which commenced on 16 November.