Paying for Leaving Cert appeals
Sir, – This Friday and Saturday thousands of Leaving Cert students will avail of the option to review their examination scripts. It is an admirable exercise in transparency and greatly to the credit of the State Examinations Commission (SEC) that it operates in this way. It makes it easier for students to assess whether the grade awarded to them in a particular subject or subjects is fair and to decide if they wish to query any grade awarded to them. It is particularly valuable if a teacher, experienced in marking for the SEC, accompanies the student and, having viewed a script, advises on the chances of a successful appeal.
Candidates then have a day and a half to lodge a fee of €40, in respect of each subject they wish to appeal, to the credit of the SEC bank account in order for their application to be considered.
This applies to all students, including those whose family circumstances are such that they are exempted from paying the entry fee for the examination itself.
To expect a family in necessitous circumstance to come up with €40 (or multiplies of €40 if the pupil wishes to appeal more than one result) in the space of such a short period is quite unfair and unrealistic.
A young person’s participation in such a high-stakes examination should not be dependent on ability to pay, and this includes appealing what they deem to be an unfair assessment of their examination performance. – Yours, etc,