The Education Minister has apologised for a mistake in the Leaving Cert system that will impact the grades of 6,500 students.
A mistake in one line of code in predictive grades meant 7,200 lower grades were given, while a small number of students were given higher grades.
They will not be downgraded – while texts have been going out this evening to students who may have a grade revised up.
It’s not yet known how many, if any, of the affected students are in the Carlow or Kilkenny areas.
Education Minister Norma Foley said it’s a mistake that should never have happened saying ”
On behalf of the Department of Education & Skills I want to apologise sincerely to our Leaving Certificate students for the situation we are now in and for the upset it will cause. Once the correct grades have been issued the CAO will establish how many would have been eligible for a higher preference offer in previous rounds of the CAO process”.
Her Department was first alerted to a problem with the grades last Tuesday with Minister Foley made aware of the issue this day last week.
The department has said it will work to ensure any student who gets a better course offer as a result of being wrongly graded down will be accommodated.
However, this won’t be possible for every course.
Minister Foley says they don’t know yet exactly how many students that will impact, pointing out “That work will finish in the coming days, until then we have given the clearest picture of the data as we curently have it but we will not have final numbers until those work streams are finalised & finished. We will do everything to support students who now have the chance to change their course & who might wish to do so”.
Principal of Tullow Community School, Paul Thornton, has been telling KCLR that the Department of Education now needs to provide support for those students noting “There’s going to be financial implications for this, around this, and there are going to be other implications but the Department are stressing that they’re in consultation with the CAO and that if a student as a result of getting an upgrade due to this error, if they get an upgrade that entitles them to a better course that they should have got then the Department will attempt to facilitate that as best as possible & will arrange for that student”.
Meanwhile, the CAO has confirmed that Round Three college offers tomorrow will be issued at 5pm.
It was originally planned for 10am, however today’s news about errors in the Calculated Grades process has caused the delay.
The CAO has also said it’ll discuss updated results with Universities on the impact to existing offers when it receives the data.
The Department of Education and Skills has put in place a dedicated helpline on 01 8892199 and email address to answer queries from students. The number is 01 8892199 and the address is [email protected] . The helpline will be open tomorrow, Thursday 1 Oct, from 10am-5pm.