Just 410 Leaving Cert students get upgrades following rechecks

Low number reflects limited nature of appeals process for teacher-assessed grades

More than 400 out of almost 4,000 Leaving Cert candidates who applied for rechecks of their results received upgrades this year.

The upgraded results - which are being issued to students from 10am today - represent 0.1 per cent of all grades issued to candidates last month.

A low number of successful appeals was expected this year given the fact that the results were higher than ever and appeals against teacher-assessed grades were limited to checking for data errors rather than reviewing teachers’ judgement in awarding marks.

Students were this year given the option of appealing their written exam grade, their accredited grade, or both, on a subject-by-subject basis.

Written exam appeals were marked by a different examiner to the one who originally assessed the work, while accredited grades appeals looked for errors in the transmission and receipt of data.

Ultimately, a total of 3,939 exam candidates appealed against 10,651 grades they were issued. The processing of the appeals culminated in 410 upgrades for 393 candidates. The vast majority received one upgrade, while 17 received two.

The most successful appeals were in respect of higher level maths (61), biology (57) and higher level Irish (37).

Technically, the appeals resulted in a slightly higher number of overall upgrades - 567 - following the processing of the appeals in the written exams and three upgrades arising from the accredited grades appeals process.

However, these did not all lead to an upgrade of the final result if the candidate had already received a grade equal to, or higher than, the appeal outcome.

The State Examinations Commission said a number of post-appeal review processes are available to candidates who are unhappy with their results. They may view their remarked written exam scripts and raise any concerns with the commission's chief examiner or appeal to the Independent Appeal Scrutineers.

These scrutineers have the power to request all documentation in relation to an appeal. However, they are not in a position to re-mark the scripts or comment on the allocation of marks.

For accredited grades, candidates unhappy with the outcome of their appeal may refer their case to a panel of Independent Appeal Scrutineers for Accredited Grades. This is a separate process run by independent scrutineers who will check to ensure the correct procedures were followed throughout the process.