Green Party TD says any algorithm used for Leaving Cert grades should be published

Green Party TD says any algorithm used for Leaving Cert grades should be published
Green Party TD Patrick Costello said any algorithm used for Leaving Cert grades should be published. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A government TD said the Minister for Education needs to "act now" to make sure the Ireland's predictive grading plan is seen to be fair to students.

The Green Party's Patrick Costello said the algorithm used in England and Scotland has "disproportionately affected" students in disadvantaged areas.

280,000 students had their A-levels downgraded.

Deputy Costello said any algorithm to be used to alter grades from those assigned by teachers here should be published urgently.

Mr Costello said: "We need to have clear transparency and a clear understanding of how this process is going to work so we don't repeat the mistakes of England and Scotland.  

We have seen grades being shifted around and consternation from parents and young people in relation to that. 

"And the last thing we need, young people here have had a really difficult year, is messing around for their leaving cert."

Schools return

Meanwhile, a survey has found parents of children with autism are very concerned about the levels of support available when schools return. 

Conducted by AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, the survey found 77% of families feel their child returning to school will need more support, but less than half believe they will receive it. 

Speaking about the survey, Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAm said: “When they return to school they will need the support of SNAs, and in some cases additional teaching hours and special autism classes. 

"Many autistic children will have their needs increase by new safety regulations, and with resources under unprecedented pressure, it is vital that the Department of Education recognises this.”

The charity surveyed 1186 parents as part of the research. 

Elsewhere, teachers in Ireland have called for rapid testing to be made available to them as schools prepare to reopen.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) has warned there will be staff shortages if there are delays in teachers getting tested for Covid-19.

The union said this could have knock-on effects as children will not be able to come to school.

General Secretary of the INTO, John Boyle, says there are real concerns about how the reopening will proceed. 

Mr Boyle said: "There will be teachers anxious and nervous before going back into the workplace. They will be frontline workers.

"They have been working hard teaching children remotely. But being in front of a large class will be a challenge  for everybody in the current climate.

"It's very important I feel that we have that testing system that would give people that bit of relief and reassurance as they go back into frontline workplaces and schools."

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Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence