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Leaving Cert results date may not be fixed until exams have started

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Education Minister Norma Foley

Education Minister Norma Foley

Education Minister Norma Foley

Leaving Cert students may not get a date for their results until after the exams start on June 8.

There is hope the results will return to an August release, but the announcement of the date could be some weeks away.

The reasons for the uncertainty about the date are two-fold: a second sitting of the exams in July and a guarantee that results overall will be no lower than 2021.

The July sitting is to facilitate students who cannot do exams in June because of Covid, other exceptional medical reasons or a bereavement.

Education Minister Norma Foley promised candidates that 2021-level inflation would be built into the 2022 results, which will require additional work once all the papers have been marked. The built-in inflation is to ensure the class of 2022 is not at a disadvantage compared with CAO applicants from last year.

Covid infection rates are well down on what they were a couple of months ago but it is impossible to predict how the virus will affect exam attendance in June.

According to sources, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) is keen to see the level of turnout in the early days of the June sitting, when the exams with the biggest candidature are held, before making a final decision on the results date.

The number of candidates who have to sit exams in July will dictate the speed at which the SEC can complete the marking of all papers and make the grade inflation adjustment.

The CAO – whose first-round college offers are linked to the release of the results – universities, technological universities and students, have all sought clarity on a results date as soon as possible.

Colleges cannot complete timetables until they know when first years are starting and are also concerned that a late start would eat into tuition time. It also puts students at a disadvantage in terms of securing accommodation.

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