Some 10,000 Leaving Cert students yet to register for calculated grades
Minister for Education appeals to students not to leave online sign up until last minute
About 50,000 of the 61,000 exam candidates had registered with the Department of Education’s online portal by lunchtime on Wednesday. Photograph: Eric Luke
About 10,000 Leaving Cert students have yet to apply to receive calculated grades ahead of the deadline which expires at 10pm on Thursday night.
Students are required to register in order to receive their grades and to confirm the level at which they are taking a subject.
About 50,000 of the 61,000 exam candidates had registered with the Department of Education’s online portal by lunchtime on Wednesday.
Some school principals have expressed concern that a small but significant cohort of students who have ‘disconnected’ from school may not register in time for the deadline.
For example, even in normal year, several hundred students do not turn up for Leaving Cert exams even though they are registered to sit them. Last year, for example, about 800 registered students did not sit the exams.
The Department of Education is understood to be examining a number of options if this proves to be the case but a spokesman declined to comment.
Minister for Education Joe McHugh has appealed to students not to leave the registration process on the gov.ie/leavingcertificate portal to the last minute.
Schools have been asked to assist their students and a helpline support system is available for anyone experiencing trouble getting access online
Those registering must have their examination number, Personal Public Service (PPS) number (which they will use to create a four-digit Personal Identification Number), an email address and a mobile phone number.
Once the Department of Education has received all the necessary data, students will then be asked to opt-in through the portal to indicate if they wish to receive calculated grades.
Calculated grades have been designed as a solution to problems with sitting the Leaving Cert exams while adhering to safety guidelines related to Covid-19.
Lack of accommodation clarity
Meanwhile, students are being advised to be careful when signing up to new lease arrangements for accommodation for the 2020-2021 academic year due to the lack of clarity on how third-level institutions will operate.
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and national housing charity, Threshold said students should not be left out of pocket and fighting for the return of deposits and rent if their circumstances change due to the pandemic.
While most colleges and universities have agreed to provide refunds for vacated on-campus accommodation, most privately-operated student accommodation companies have not provided refunds to students.
USI president, Lorna Fitzpatrick said the union has been contacted by students from every college and university across the country who have been affected by this situation.
“Now we are getting reports of some accommodation providers offering students two months’ free accommodation, if they pay up-front for the next academic year.” she said.
“It is very disturbing to see students being put under this kind of pressure. We don’t even know yet what college is going to look like in 2020-2021 - will students even need this accommodation?”
As well as advising students to be careful, USI is calling on the Government and individual institutions to provide some clarity on how they expect college to look next year.