Almost 100 Leaving Cert students had six or more of their teachers’ estimated grades lowered under the Department of Education’s calculated grades process, new figures show. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Applications to sit the Leaving Certificate 2020 in November open this morning

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris announced the addtional restrictions on third level colleges on Friday. Photograph: PA

Colleges warn students that breaches of Covid-19 regulations may lead to expulsion

Thousands of Leaving Cert students are due to have access to class rankings which their teachers’ assigned them online from next Monday. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Teachers’ unions concerned about releasing information to all students online

A number of schools have said their results in many subjects this year were significantly lower than their historical performances despite overall grade inflation.  Photograph: Getty Images

Some high-achieving schools have said students’ results suffered by taking out key data

All social and club activities on-campus will be suspended. File photograph: Alan Betson

Social and club activities to be suspended until further notice

An empty primary classroom in  Israel which has closed its schools as part of a lockdown in Tel Aviv. There have been 13 outbreaks of Covid-19 in Irish schools since September which have led to some classes being as to self-isolate. Photograph: Sebastian Scheiner/AP

Teachers’ union says delays getting test results are severely disrupting schools

Leaving Cert students can access their class rankings as estimated by their teachers by sending a personal data request to the Department of Education. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Students are legally entitled to obtain data by making ‘subject access requests’

 Leaving cert students protest outside the Dept. of Education in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Record rechecks follow controversy over extent to which some results downgraded

Suaad Alshleh, an 18-year-old Syrian refugee and medical student, was referred to by  EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen while delivering her maiden State of the Union speech. Photograph: Alan Betson

18-year-old Syrian refugee and medical student hopes her story will inspire others

A  Department of Education spokesman confirmed that records arising from the visits will be made available only to the board and principal of the schools concerned and will not be published by the department. Photograph: Getty

Inspectors to begin visiting schools to ensure safe and sustainable reopening

The Archdiocese of Dublin has asked all primary schools to update admissions policies over the coming weeks

Dublin Archdiocese asks schools to remove priority enrolment policy for siblings

The revised policies are due to be signed off by the archdiocese this month, and will come into effect for children enrolling in the 2021/22 school year. Photograph: Getty Images

Archdiocese asks schools to remove priority entry for brothers and sisters of existing pupils

The Government is braced for potential legal actions given that the previous administration was warned by the then attorney general that the calculated grades process had ‘legal vulnerabilities’. Photograph: Getty Images

Leaving Cert students will have access to their school’s estimated marks from Monday

Institute of Education on Lower Leeson Street: 44 per cent of teachers’ estimated grades were lowered. This compares with a national average of 17 per cent. File photograph: Alan Betson

Schools of different types experience varied effects of 2020 Leaving Cert replacement

Final year NUI Galway law student Simeon Burke: “After reading the pledge, I became very concerned. I felt it undermined my rights as an NUI Galway student and threatened my freedom to think for myself.”

‘Community promise’ no longer mandatory for students registering for academic year

Trinity College Dublin: Some senior higher education figures are worried students will defer over fears of losing out on the traditional college experience. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Concerns many college applicants may seek to defer due to Covid-19

Minister for  Higher Education Simon Harris said the creation of additional places mean significantly more applicants have received offers  at this stage. Photograph:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Seven courses break the 600 point barrier

The Government was desperate to find additional higher education places in recent weeks as soon as it realised the scale of grade inflation that was coming down the tracks. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Grade inflation made points jump but extra places stopped them going through roof

At universities, most courses are up with colleges such as Trinity College Dublin recording an average points increase of 27.

Grade inflation results in points jumping with medicine in TCD up 5 to 735

The Institute of Education, the State’s largest grind school, is one of many which feels it has been penalised under the new process. Photograph: Brendan Duffy

Government sources feel the new system delivered results in the fairest way possible, with an overall increase in grades

Sources say there has been a 7 per cent increase in CAO points for courses across the board

Sharp increase despite last-minute move to create thousands of extra third-level places

The Institute of Education, based on Dublin’s Leeson Street, has written to the Government asking it to broaden the grounds for appeal for this year’s Leaving Cert pupils. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Institute of Education claims analysis exposes ‘serious flaws’ in department’s model

A further 800 college places are to be found in third-level colleges in a last-minute bid to ease the expected upward pressure on CAO points due to grade inflation this year. File photograph: The Irish Times

Calculated grades process biased against them, claim cohort of private academies

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that “hundreds” of additional placed had been sources following discussion with representative bodies for the universities and institutes of technology. Photograph: Julien Behal

Concern over impact of grade inflation on thousands of deferred college applicants

St Kilian’s Deutsche Schule. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

St Kilian’s Deutsche Schule says there was dramatic drop in expected H1s for German

The Department of Education has has said that class sizes have fallen to a historic low at primary level Photograph: David Sleator

Latest data shows class sizes in Ireland’s primary schools are well above EU average

Minister for Education Norma Foley said ‘all students were treated fairly and equitably’.  Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Process ‘blind’ to social and economic status of schools, says Minister for Education

A statistical model was created to estimate how a student with a particular profile of Junior Cert results was likely to perform in the Leaving Cert. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Technical report gives insights into Leaving Cert process of Department of Education

 University College Dublin campus in Belfield. The CAO said a total of 20,201 students were applying for college places this year on the basis of results they achieved in the past.   Photograph: Bryan O Brien

Results for thousands of deferred college applicants ‘devalued’ due to grade inflation

Joshua Kempton believes that ‘with such a drastic increase in grades this year, it feels like years of my formal education appear to have be effectively wasted’.

Grade inflation set to ‘devalue’ results for thousands of deferred third-level hopefuls

Leaving cert students Micah Darcy and Robert Meehan, from Malahide Community School, Malahide Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Results 2020: Dramatic increase in grades awarded to pupils under new process

The almost deserted UCD campus in Belfield in March after it was shut due to coronavirus. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

School leavers will benefit from grade inflation, but deferred college applicants may lose

Minister for Education Norma Foley. Photograph: Julien Behal Photography

Dramatic grade inflation will disadvantage thousands of deferred college applicants

Members of the Irish Second Level  Students’ Union Alanna McKeon, Luke Casserly , Ellen Kenny and Sean Carey , all from Longford, highlighting the for students receiving their Leaving Certificate results. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

60,000 Leaving Cert candidates will receive grades online at 9am on Monday

 Minister for Education Norma Foley has acknowledged that grades for the class of 2020 will be “stronger” compared to previous yeares .Photograph: Julien Behal

Confused about standardisation or school profiling? We answer all your questions

One in four college applicants this year has applied on the basis of Leaving Cert results they achieved in previous years.

Results for 25% of those seeking college places risk being devalued by grade inflation

Carolyn Hulbert: ‘We deserve assurances that we will not be disadvantaged in the CAO process this year.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Grade inflation may ‘devalue’ results for thousands of applicants who took gap year

Minister for Education Norma Foley    said that while students were entitled to their personal data, she confirmed that a query had been raised around the issue. Photograph:   Julien Behal Photography

Teachers’ unions feared details would damage student relationships

Teachers’ unions have warned that some schools face a shortage of teachers in the months ahead, owing to illness and upcoming retirements. Photograph: iStock

‘High risk’ teachers anxious about returning to classrooms, Covid-19 committee hears

Trinity College Dublin has climbed nine places and remains Ireland’s leading university in the latest Times Higher Education world university rankings. Photograph: iStock

TCD holds position as Ireland’s leading university in table, followed by RCSI and UCD

Minister for Education Norma Foley said the Cabinet had agreed to drop a controversial measure know as “school profiling”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Teachers awarded more than twice normal level of top grades to students this year

The Department of Education has dropped plans for its controversial ‘school profiling’ which took account of an individual school’s track record in the last three years to help determine whether teachers’ estimated Leaving Cert grades  were accurate. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The  Irish Times

Analysis: Government hopeful it has defused key landmines ahead of next week’s results

A large majority (79 per cent) of students’ estimated grades given by their teachers and schools will remain the same.

Higher grades will push up points, but additional places may ease some pressure

In Ireland the CAO operates on the basis of supply and demand, along with students’ relative performance.

Controversial plans for ‘school profiling’ in calculated grades process to be dropped, Minister for Education confirms

Some 61,000 Leaving Cert students are set to receive their calculated grade results at 9am on Monday, September 7th. Photograph: David Jones/PA Wire

61,000 students are due to receive their calculated results at 9am on September 7th

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting chief medical officer: “There are no zero-risk options for reopening schools . . . the aim, therefore, is to reopen in as safe a way as possible.” Photograph: Colin Keegan

Open letter assures public health teams will protect students and staff throughout return

Liz Wynne of Confey College’s parents council (front) alongside children and parents from the school, pictured in Lucan, Co Dublin. They fear the private bus which transports up to 200 children to the school will be axed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Confey College is one of the schools where private operators say they cannot meet new rules

Jan Rynne with her husband Michael, son Daniel (12) and daughter Emily (15).   Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Mother says children cannot attend school due to her medical condition, but are not entitled to remote tuition

Sinn Féin’s education spokesman Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire: ‘It is a disgrace that parents and relatives with underlying conditions have been kept in limbo.’ Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Many concerned over the heath risks of returning children to crowded classrooms

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris is understood to be preparing a plan  which would see universities boost the capacity of many high-demand courses. Photograph:  Julien Behal Photography

Plan aims to ease pressure on Leaving Cert applicants for nursing, medicine and law

Transition year students wear face masks on their first day back at school at Mount Sackville Secondary School in Chapelizod. Photograph: Alan Betson

One-fifth of parents unlikely to avail of Covid-19 vaccine, CSO survey finds

 Taoiseach Micheál Martin with Sean Haughey and Minister for Education Norma Foley during a visit to St Fiachra’s Junior School in Beaumont, Dublin, where he was given a briefing on the work undertaken to prepare the school for reopening. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Many principals and teachers say they are still waiting for clarity on key issues

The garden shed being used as an isolation facility at Clonbonny National School near Athlone, Co Westmeath. Photograph:  PM/Saber Photos

Clonbonny National School says it is unable to comply with physical distancing rules

The postponed 2020 Leaving Cert exams are due to take place during the evening time and at weekends from Monday, November 16th onwards. Photograph:  David Jones/PA Wire

Students who receive calculated grades will have option of sitting written exams

A Department of Education spokesman said Tusla would take the new public-health guidelines into account when supporting children and their parents. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

ASTI directs members not to take part in any large gatherings of students and staff

Students with face masks enter their classroom at the Petri primary school in Dortmund,  Germany. Face masks are not required in Irish primary schools. Photograph: Ina Fassbender/AFP

INTO seeks clarity on public health guidance relating to primary and special schools


Teachers, pupils and staff are unsure what’s waiting for them when they return next month

Everything about school is set to change: getting there, drop-offs, classroom layouts, break times, extra-curricular activity and pick-up arrangements. Photograph: iStock

Schools acting to help keep Covid-19 at bay – but unanswered questions remain

Minister for Education Norma Foley: ‘we have put in place all the precautions necessary and along with the dedication of the principals and teachers at a local school leve.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

State exam students to get more choice in 2021 Leaving Cert and Junior Cycle papers

Some parents have expressed concern that their children may be at risk if travelling on schoolbuses. Photograph: iStock

Move follows safety fears among parents in light of public health advice

Eoin McGuire, age 8, in action during the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Summer Camp at Greystones, Co Wicklow on Thursday. Acting chief medical officer Ronan Glynn said that in some circumstances parents would be permitted to watch their children’s sporting matches from the sidelines. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Officials advise against easing restrictions as county has had 455 cases in 14 days

“The idea is that a student who has completed, say, 75-80 per cent of the course will still be able to complete the exam without losing out.”

Move aims to lessen effect of missed classes on Junior and Leaving Cert candidates

Professor Michelle Millar and president of NUI Galway’s  students’ union Pádraic Toomey display the university’s new “community promise”. Photograph: Aengus McMahon.

Staff also expected to sign ‘community promise’, breaches of which could trigger disciplinary processes

An empty classroom due to reopen shortly. File photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Irish Second-Level Students’ Union says unanswered questions on issue must be answered

Many schoolbuses are likely to operate without social distancing when schools reopen. File photograph: iStock

Government says there will be ‘rolling implementation’ of public health advice on buses

Up to 3,000 grades may not be awarded to Leaving Cert students this year on the basis that ‘satisfactory’ evidence was not available on which to base an estimated per centage mark. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Department says it was unable to access ‘satisfactory’ evidence for grades

Mayo student Elijah Burke, pictured outside Leinster House, during a protest over his exclusion from the calculated grades process for Leaving Cert students. He won his High Court case on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Court’s finding to affect home-schooled and students taking subjects out of school

Leaving Cert students will have to wait a week after receiving their official calculated grades before they get to see their teachers’ estimated marks. Photograph: Eric Luke

Students will not immediately get to see extent to which their grades were adjusted

Pictured outside Headfort school are (from left to right) headmaster Kevin Allwright; Rupert Butler of the senior management team; Lorraine Mancey, board member; Mike Bolton, senior management team; Marcus Williams and Jack Blakiston Houston, both board members. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Fundraising drive leads to restart of private school where fees range from €7,000 to €14,000

Minister for Education Norma Foley insists the calculated grades system will be ‘accurate, reliable and fair to all students’. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

While the models of calculated grades used across the UK are different, the core principles are the same as Irish system

Sinn Féin and the Labour Party urged Minister for Education Norma Foley to explain how the Irish system would not mean the same level of grades being marked down. File photograph: Getty

Opposition parties call for review of plan after British government U-turn on results

Minister for Education Norma Foley. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fee-paying sector not automatically eligible for €375m school support package

Campaigners argue that children in State-funded schools  face obstacles exercising their right to opt out of religious instruction. Photograph: iStock

Campaigners say legal advice empowers parents to protect their children’s rights

Samantha Holman says her son Simon (16) finds it difficult to wear a face mask

Polls shows parents worried over lack of clarity on how children will be supported

A Department of Education spokesman said ‘current policy on school uniforms remains a matter for the board of management of each individual school’. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

No reference in public health guidance around daily washing of school uniforms

Back to school: Rumours are rife about  school uniforms, taking books home and bringing in lunch boxes. Photograph: Jens Buettner

Two weeks before schools reopen, parents are confused and seek direction and clarity

  Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children: ‘This is a totally different year for students, so we need go with fairness and equity first. Comparability of results to previous years should not be as important. Fairness and equity should trump comparability.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

A-level results show pupils from poorer backgrounds hit hardest by downgrades

Pupils return to St Paul’s High School in Glasgow, Scotland, as the fallout continues from the government’s decision to upgrade exam results. Photograph: Getty

Irish and Scottish calculated grade systems share key principles, so trouble may be ahead

Controversy in Scotland after government reverses the downgrading of 124,000 students’ calculated grades

 Minister for Education Norma Foley: said work is continuing ‘to ensure that all students are treated fairly’. Photograph: Alan Betson

Recognising what happened in Scotland ‘may cause anxiety for Irish students’

Minister of State for Special Education Josepha Madigan: the Government’s €375 million plan to reopen schools includes measures to ensure special needs assistant absences are fully covered. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Not ‘tolerable’ some schools refuse to set up specific classes despite demand from parents

Secondary school students will have the option of wearing face masks if they wish in cases where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Photograph: iStock

Cabinet set to approve plan on Monday that will suggest a pod system in classrooms for older primary pupils


Extra teachers, enhanced cleaning regimes and curriculum changes form centrepiece of package

Hand sanister and personal protective equipment  will be distributed to schools. The cost between now and the end of the year is estimated at about €50 million. Photograph: David Sleator

School aid package worth hundreds of millions of euro to be unveiled on Monday

A plan to  reopen schools to all pupils on a full-time basis will be published next Monday. Photograph: iStock

Plans include ‘major financial package’ to help schools fully reopen at end of August

Minister for Education Norma Foley. Photograph: Alan Betson

Major financial package includes money for new layouts, cleaning and substitute cover

There will be detailed guidelines for schools with templates on safe classroom layouts, along with rules to follow in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Plan is to reopen schools fully from late August as long as virus remains suppressed

 Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has welcomed confirmation of opening dates for third level colleges following a meeting with representative bodies.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Employers are to receive financial incentives for first time to take on new apprentices

Schools which are due to lose teachers when they reopen are calling for the posts  to be urgently restored due to the requirement to physically distance pupils in classrooms. Photograph: iStock

Schools campaign to restore teachers in order to implement physical distancing rules

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris  at a  press briefing in Government Buildings today on third level funding. Photograph:  Julien Behal Photography

Move will severely limit ability of universities to hold lectures and graduation ceremonies

The measures  called for include increased one-to-one support for students returning to school through the reinstatement of  guidance counsellor hours.

Many worried they have fallen behind in schoolwork due to distance learning

The State Examintions Commission is planning to run the Leaving Cert written exams in November 2020.

Leaving Cert students have under a week to register to receive calculated grades

Parents of children with a disability and those with children in the senior primary classes were more likely to feel their child was not learning enough. Photograph: iStock

Poor school communication and lack of time to support learning cited as key factors

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, innovation and Science. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Coronavirus: Minister to set out public health regulations for universities and colleges

Teachers’ unions have warned that schools may not fully reopen in September due to social distancing requirements.   Photograph: JL CereijidoEPA

Government planning for schools to reopen fully in September but teachers warn this may not be possible

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Talks over €100m emergency funding to help colleges to reopen in September

Some colleges say first years will likely start in either late September or early October. Photograph: iStock

Some colleges say first years will likely start in either late September or early October

  Trinity College Dublin.  Universities have expressed ‘surprise and disappointment’ over delays in issuing Leaving Cert results which will force them to admit students to courses later than expected. Photograph: Getty Images

Plan for orientation weeks may be cancelled, Irish Universities’ Association warns

This year’s Leaving Cert results will not be issued until September 7th. File photograph: The Irish Times

Students will have to wait until September 7th to receive their grades this year

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