Thousands of students will have their grades corrected upwards
The portal by which students can see if their Leaving Cert 2020 Calculated Grades were corrected upwards has opened.
The Department for Education and Skills has revealed that 6,870 grades in total will increase affecting 6,100 students.
This is broken down as follows:
• 5,408 students will receive a higher grade, by one grade band, in one subject.
• 621 students will receive a higher grade, by one grade band, in two subjects.
• 71 students will receive a higher grade, by one grade band, in three or more subjects.
No student will receive a lower grade.
Minister for Education Norma Foley TD announced the opening of the Calculated Grades portal at 6pm on Saturday, October. Students due to receive a corrected, higher grade can now access their amended, correct results.
All students should receive a message letting them know if their grade is changing or not. Those whose grades have been corrected will also be contacted by email.
In total, 614 schools and other centres recognised to hold the Leaving Certificate will have one or more upgraded results. This is out of a total of 741 schools and centres.
Following the finding of errors in the code used by the Calculated Grades national standardisation process, the Minister for Education commissioned Education Testing Services (ETS) to provide an independent expert opinion on the coding. The ETS statement can be seen here: https://s3-eu-west-1. amazonaws.com/govieassets/ 89698/73e7a5b6-faaa-4bf7-a5e0- cf5f0d461ed1.pdf
ETS raised two issues in their statement. The first is an error which occurred in the use of data, where a student did not sit all three core subjects at Junior Cycle.
In those cases, the system was meant to use the average national Junior Cycle score, in the missing subject, of the group of students who took their Leaving Certificate in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Instead, it chose that student’s next best subject for inclusion in the group computation.
The second issue raised by ETS is how the algorithm treated students’ marks at the extreme ends of the scale. ETS noted that the treatment does not exactly match what is described in the national standardisation group’s report, and confirmed that this does not have any meaningful impact on results.
This issue relates to those students whose marks are 99% and above, and those whose marks are one per cent and below. The ETS statement says that a student could not have received a lower grade as a result of this issue.
Minister Foley said: “Last week I expressed my regret to students for what had happened. I want to reiterate that today.
“You have had an exceptionally difficult year. I’m sorry for that. And I’m sorry this last week delivered more uncertainty to you.
“When we found errors in the code, I decided to seek independent expert oversight in the interest of certainty, particularly for students.
“I am glad that we can now provide students whose grades were lower than they should have been with their corrected results today and that this period of uncertainty is now over for all students.
“I wish you all every success in your choices and your journeys.”
The full set of student data has been re-run in the corrected model.
The Department’s Calculated Grades Executive Office and the Educational Research Centre have each run data checks independently of each other. The results that will now be published on the calculated grades student portal are the correct results under the model.
A corrected file of results has been provided to the CAO.
The CAO will now establish how many students are eligible to receive a new CAO offer.
The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will work with the CAO and the higher education institutions to see how these students can be facilitated to commence the course that they would, in other circumstances, have been offered in an earlier round.
Any student who has applied to a higher education institution outside the State who believes their grade change will impact those arrangements should contact the relevant higher education institution in the first instance.
The Department’s helpline on 01 8892199 and will be open on Saturday until 7pm and on Sunday from 11am to 4 pm. The email address is LC2020@education.gov.ie .
The National Parents Council Helpline will re-open on Monday at 11 am. Full details of these arrangements are on gov.ie/leavingcertificate.