Leaving Cert: People who lobby teachers over grades face penalties

Government says all students will have option of predicted grades or sitting exams

Anyone who attempts to lobby teachers over calculated grades for this year’s Leaving Cert will face penalties, the Minister for Education has said.

Any type of canvassing would not be appropriate and measures were being examined such as penalties, Norma Foley told Newstalk Breakfast.

The Government has confirmed that all Leaving Cert students will be given the option of choosing predicted grades or sitting exams in June this year.

This will allow students to pick and choose between predicted grades or written exams – or both – for individual subjects, and secure whichever grade is highest.

Oral exams will be held during the Easter holidays or shortly afterwards for students who opt to take exams.

Students who opt for predicted grades only will not be required to complete these exams.

“This I believe is the fairest option,” Ms Foley said.

The Minister also said that rank orders would not be published and that the format for standardisation would be set by the State Examinations Board.

As for the date for the return to school, Ms Foley said that her department would be guided by public health officials. “I would love to have them all back immediately.”

Teachers' unions have meanwhile expressed "serious concern" over the plans for the Leaving Cert and use of calculated grades for students.

While both the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) expressed disappointment, neither union has yet rejected the plan.

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