Thursday 17 October 2019

Number of upgrades for Leaving Cert students doubles to nearly 3,000

Education Minister Joe McHugh
Education Minister Joe McHugh
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Almost 3,000 students have had their Leaving Cert results upgraded following an appeal to the State Examinations Commission (SEC).

A total of 9,049 candidates made applications for appeals, leading to 2,916 upgrades.

There were two downgrades awarded in the appeals process this year.

In 2018, there were just 1,453 upgrades - so this year's figure of 2,916 upgrades is a 100pc increase on last year.

The appeal results will be available to candidates from 10am today and the results have already been transmitted to the CAO.

The subject with the greatest number of upgrades was biology, followed by maths, home economics and engineering.

Last year, Leaving Cert student Rebecca Carter, from Wexford, successfully appealed an incorrect result on her business paper, which would have meant she lost out on a place in veterinary medicine at UCD, as the results of the appeal were not available in time.

The High Court ruled that the existing procedures for dealing with appeals were unfair to students.

The SEC said that the overall number of individual subject appeals has increased significantly from 2018 - from 9,087 to 16,965 individual results -due to a number of factors.

"The increase in the number of appeals follows significant changes to the timeline for the issue of the appeal results, which is a full three weeks earlier than in previous years," it said.

"In order to achieve the new timeline, the SEC developed the Candidate Self Service Portal to support faster and more efficient services to candidates.

"The SEC also re-engineered the appeals process to achieve the new timeframe, including requiring appeal examiners to mark the appeal scripts on a full-time basis, rather than just in the evenings after school has ended and at weekends, as was the case in previous years."

The SEC admitted that the Leaving Certificate appeal process has "been in focus since last year".

"The SEC has been very active in alerting examination candidates to the revised timelines this year, which has heightened awareness of the viewing and appeals processes among candidates," it added.

"The services were also more accessible to candidates as the viewing and appeals applications were provided online through the portal.

"In addition, the earlier issue date for these appeal results means that third-level applicants will now have full visibility on their options very early in the academic year, rather than having to wait until mid-October.

"All of these factors go some way to explaining the increase in the number of appeals."

Irish Independent

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