Concern that Leaving Cert students will have access to teachers' class rankings

ireland
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Digital Desk staff

Updated 6.02pm

Teaching unions have said they were shocked to learn that students will have access to the order in which their teachers have ranked them.

Teachers were required to submit a class rank list as part of the calculated grades process.

Both the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) have said they understood that this information would only be available to students who issued a formal appeal.

Our members cooperated with something that was almost anathema to them, to put such rankings down on paper.

TUI President Michael Marjoram said the union had been discussing the issue with the Department of Education: “Our members cooperated with something that was almost anathema to them, to put such rankings down on paper.

“And to put down on paper the position of children that they had supported and kept in school and boosted the morale of and the confidence of, so we are really concerned about the correct treatment of that data.”

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The Department Education has said it has no idea how many students will appeal their calculated Leaving Cert grades.

Students are set to receive their results on Monday, with CAO offers coming the following Friday.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Special Committee on Covid-19 Response, Minister for Education Norma Foley said a query has been made regarding the availability of class rank lists and the Department is currently being advised on the matter.

Appeals process

Any student who is unhappy with their grade will be able to view the one provided by their teacher, before it was put through the standardisation system by the Department of Education.

Chief Inspector at the Department, Harold Hislop, has outlined how the appeals process will work: “What the school was asked to do was to record carefully for each grade and each subject on a standard form what sources of evidence the teacher was drawing upon when he or she made the judgement about those marks.

“Those forms are retained in the school... if a student appeals the forms are brought from the school to the Department and they will be available to the candidate.”

Soaring points

It comes as the Government decision to drop a school's past academic performance from the standardisation process is set to result in higher grades for many students and a spike in CAO points for third-level courses.

With the calculated grades of 57,000 students set to be better than if they had sat the traditional Leaving Cert exams, the results are expected to fuel a points rise in colleges that will leave some students disappointed.

1,250 additional college places are to be made available in an attempt to offset the grade inflation.

ASTI General Secretary Ann Piggott said it will be unclear if the new system has avoided disaster until next week: "As it stands we have some indication as to what is happening with figures but we don't have final figures. Until we see the final figures and the reaction of students and teachers, then we can tell next week how people really fell about the final result."

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