Thursday 8 December 2016

Don't give up, only by challenging the system can you make it work

The lengthy process of having a Leaving Cert paper rechecked has been an education in itself, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 03/11/2013 | 02:00

AS OF last Wednesday, it was exactly 138 days since my daughter Emer sat down to take her Leaving Cert Classical Studies paper, and 85 days since she received the result telling her that she had received a B3, thereby dashing her hopes of studying at Cambridge. Last week she finally got the A grade that she wanted and deserved. In between was one of the biggest battles of our lives as we struggled to prove that she was the victim of a huge error.

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It seems absurd, in this day and age, that the mess couldn't have been sorted out sooner. By the time the rechecks come back in October, universities have already begun their new terms, too late for many students awaiting the new results to start in college. In my daughter's case, she took up an offer of a place at St Andrews University in the meantime, because she didn't want to put her life on hold with no guarantee that the grade would go up. So many people told us that it wouldn't. Now her original offer from Cambridge kicks back in, meaning she has to leave St Andrew's.

She's made great friends. She's having a lovely time, enjoying her freedom. The stress and upheaval involved for her in leaving it behind is immense. And don't even get me started on the unnecessary expense.

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