Teachers demand 'full investigation' of Leaving Cert grading issue

Teachers demand 'full investigation' of Leaving Cert grading issue

Ann Piggott, president of the ASTI, who said teachers are "very concerned" about the impact of this issue on the Leaving Cert class of 2020. File Picture: Larry Cummins

Teachers and principals were left shocked and disappointed by the news that two errors have been found in the Leaving Cert calculated grades process. 

Teachers took part in the calculated grades process in good faith and they were reassured that it would be robust and fair, according to Ann Piggott, the president of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland. 

"Teachers I have spoken to are very concerned about the impact of [Wednesday's] announcement on those students affected, as well as the entire class of 2020 who have endured so much stress and uncertainty this year,” she said. 

“It is essential that students affected by the errors can access the courses they are eligible for without delay. In addition, the Department of Education and Skills must complete a thorough and full investigation of this matter immediately.”

Meanwhile, Michael Gillespie, the general secretary of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland said the 2020 class and their families are now facing yet more anxiety, stress, and uncertainty.

"The priority must be to ensure that any student whose grades were negatively affected must now have the error made good. While some students affected would, in any event, have already received an offer for the third-level course that they wanted, others may not." 

School principals have also called on the Department of Education to clarify the exact extent and consequences of the errors. 

Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, Clive Byrne, said the Leaving Cert class of 2020 took part in the calculated grades system with the utmost maturity and understanding. 

“While this was the first time school principals and teachers have undertaken such an endeavour [like calculated grades], every detail of the Department of Education’s instructions were carefully and comprehensively implemented in calculating the grade of each student," he said.

“For these reasons, it is crucial that the department now clarifies the exact extent, consequences, and corrective measures relating to the errors uncovered." 

The deadline of this Friday, October 2, for students to register to sit traditional Leaving Cert exams also needs to be extended, he said, adding that students need more time to consider their options.

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