The delay in publishing this year’s Leaving Certificate grades will only give students a short time-frame to find accommodation, the Education Minister has acknowledged.
This year’s grades will be published on September 7, three weeks later than usual, Norma Foley said.
Calculated grades are being issued for students who were unable to sit exams this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 450,000 individual results have to be prepared and checked before September 7.
It is hugely important to me that the integrity of the calculated grades for the class of 2020 will have a similar integrity to the Leaving Cert of 2019 or 2018Norma Foley
Ms Foley said the delay is required to keep the integrity of the system intact.
She told RTE Morning Ireland on Friday: “It was not feasible or possible for the traditional Leaving Cert to take place. It is hugely important to me that the integrity of the calculated grades for the class of 2020 will have a similar integrity to the Leaving Cert of 2019 or 2018.”
When asked if the delay will result in a scramble for accommodation among students, she said: “There may well be a short time-frame. We are living in extraordinary circumstances. I absolutely want to acknowledge the patience of the students, parents and teachers. I know this is a time of high anxiety.”
Ms Foley was asked in the Dail on Thursday afternoon when results will be out, but she did not give an answer and instead issued a press statement that evening.
She said: “The partners in education have been hugely engaged and incredibly positive in this process. All of them have facilitated this process to this point. I thought it was right and proper that they would be informed first.”
More than 61,000 Leaving Certificate students are eligible to receive calculated grades.
A small number of students have decided not to accept calculate grades and will wait to do the traditional written exam instead.
“There will be an opportunity on the 14th of September for students to appeal calculated grades and an opportunity at a later date if students want to take a written exam,” Ms Foley said.
When I raised Leaving Cert results issue yesterday, the Minister wouldnât confirm delay but then released a statement.— AodhÃ¡n Ã RÃordÃ¡in (@AodhanORiordain) July 17, 2020
Minister must now address the DÃ¡il on Tuesday and take questions on the matter.
The disrespect shown to students & their families just isnât good enough. https://t.co/ukUqhfbhBb
But Labour TD Aodhan O Riordain criticised Ms Foley for failing to answer questions in the Dail about the delay and for not appearing publicly to announce the decision.
He told Newstalk FM: “For this to come out on a Thursday evening… it is absolutely unbelievable. It’s outrageous. I don’t understand why we need to wait until September 7.
“This is a cohort of students that has been through an incredibly stressful situation up until this point. You would imagine you would do everything possible to ensure nothing else would happen.”