Wednesday 20 March 2019

Error in Leaving Cert mark may cost student place on college course

Rebecca Carter fell just short of the points target.
Rebecca Carter fell just short of the points target.

Ray Managh

A student whose Leaving Cert marks were wrongly totted up by an examiner could lose her chance of a place on a veterinary medicine course, the High Court has heard.

Rebecca Carter (18) is suing the State Examination Commission (SEC), legally challenging its decision not to recheck her results before mid-October, effectively costing her a place at UCD which decides its student allocation by the end of September.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys was told UCD had agreed not to allocate her potential place until September 30, allowing the court to deal with her judicial review.

Ms Carter, of Ardcolm Drive, Rectory Hall, Castlebridge, Co Wexford, is also suing the Central Applications Office, which processes applications for undergraduate courses, and UCD seeking to restrain it from refusing her a place on the course.

Micheál P O'Higgins SC, who appeared for Ms Carter, told the judge she had repeated her Leaving Certificate exams in May 2018 and received 554 points, six points short of the required number for veterinary medicine in UCD.

"The points required for the course dropped to 555 in the second round offers and she was then only a point short," Mr O'Higgins said. "She was not satisfied that her results accurately reflected her exam performance and took part in a review."

Mr O'Higgins said the review revealed that in Ms Carter's business exam script the examiner had given her 17 plus 19 plus 30 but had then wrongly totted up the marks to 56 instead of 66. Had the error not occurred her final points total would have surpassed what was required for veterinary medicine.

She contacted the SEC and was told it could not correct the error until mid-October. If the mistake was not corrected until then she will have to wait until 2019 to start the course.

Barrister Aoife Carroll, counsel for the SEC, said there were more than 9,000 issues to be determined by the commission on appeal relating to more than 5,000 candidates.

She was granted an adjournment to allow her to file opposition papers to Ms Carter's application.

Irish Independent

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