A ROW has erupted over claims that 'school profiling' will form part of the assessment of students' performance in the wake of the cancellation of the Leaving Cert.
Education Minister Joe McHugh has claimed that school profiling won't be part of the process and branded arguments that disadvantaged students will lose out as a "disgrace".
He was responding to Dáil remarks by Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin who insisted that school profiling is part of the planned system for assessing students.
Mr Ó Ríordáin said: "Minister with the greatest of respect I can’t accept your answer on school profiling.”
He said Labour agrees with the use of calculated grades and added: "we will not accept school profiling... because it is fundamentally unfair."
Mr Ó Ríordáin added: "I don’t agree with you when you say an average student from a fee-paying school would not be advantaged by the system.
"If I was an average system from a fee-paying school I’d be much happier today than I would if I was an exceptional student in a disadvantaged school because you will be assessed by the history of your school," he claimed.
He added: "inevitably somebody from a fee-paying background is going to benefit from that.
"So minister please, please, please just get rid of the school profiling bit and we can all move on together"
Mr McHugh accused Mr Ó Ríordáin of "doing an awful disservice to disadvantaged schools" in his remarks.
"We have exceptional students in disadvantaged schools and you’re sending the message out today that they’re going to be disadvantaged because they’re in a disadvantaged school... I think that’s a disgrace."
Mr Ó Ríordáin rejected this and Mr McHugh continued: "I think it’s an absolutely disgrace" while saying he didn't want to get into a row.
Mr Ó Ríordáin said: "There’s no point in telling me you’re not going to get in a row with me and then point a finger at me and call me a disgrace.
"I’m calling your process a disgrace, not you."
Mr McHugh said: "There’s Leaving Cert students listening to that.
"I think it’s wrong that you’re peddling that because exceptional students whether they’re in a community school, a Deis school or a private school, they will not be discriminated against because it’s an all-school mark. It’s a calculated grade coming from the school based on the performance…"
Teachers and Leaving Cert candidates cannot have any further discussions about the student's performance in the past two years, nor can they talk about the estimated mark the teacher will award a pupil under new calculated grades system.