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Almost two in three students accept CAO Round 1 offer

Department not guaranteeing that students who are successful in the appeals process will get a college place this year

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Almost two in three students have so far accepted a CAO Round 1 offer they received on Friday.

Some 53,815 applicants received an offer of a college place and by Sunday night, 31,897, almost 60pc, had accepted.

Applicants have until Wednesday accept a Round 1 offer and, if they don’t, it will lapse and go to another applicant in Round 2.

Last year, 72pc of applicants had accepted an offer before Round 2, which will issue on Wednesday September 23.

Meanwhile, from today, Leaving Cert candidates from the class of 2020 can view the estimated percentage marks provided by their school as well as the subject percentage marks awarded by the Calculated Grades process. The latter formed the basis of the grades awarded to students last week.

About 63,000 grades are lower than what the students would have achieved based on the mark awarded by teachers, which has caused upset among students who say it cost them a CAO offer.

There is an appeals system, which is open until Wednesday, but it extends only to ensuring that marks submitted on behalf of a students was recorded and processed correctly.

Students cannot challenge the actual marks awarded. A well known Dublin grinds school, the Institute of Education, which claims its students were significantly penalised by the calculated grades process, says the grounds for appeal should be broadened.

As well as providing estimated marks for students, teachers also awarded them a class ranking but students do not have access to that at the moment.

There is a dispute between the Department of Education and teacher unions on the issue, and the Department is seeking legal advice The Department says it hopes to make the rankings information available at later date.

The Department is not guaranteeing that students who are successful in the appeals process will get a college place this year.

The Department says it depends on factors such as the number of appeals received, the nature of the appeal, and the course to which an applicant has applied.

“However, where possible, higher education institutions will attempt to facilitate you,” the Department states.

The Department says it aims for checks to be done within the normal timeframe for an appeal, in which case the student could receive an offer in a later CAO round and start this year, if a little later than other first years.

However, it adds that if an appeal that is pursued through to the final, Independent Appeals Scrutineers stage, it will take longer and a successful applicant will not be able to start college this year and will receive a deferred offer for 2021/22.

Helpline

The National Parents’ Council Post Primary (NPCPP) freephone Leaving Cert/CAO helpline - 1800 265 165- is open for three days this week:

Today, Monday: 11am – 5pm, Tuesday, September 15: 11am – 2pm, Wednesday, September 16 : 11am – 2pm

The helpline is sponsored by independent.ie/Irish Independent and the Department of Education and is staffed by members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.

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