Leaving Cert results withheld over suspected cheating

The State Examinations Commission has confirmed that 38 results have been permanently withheld

Leaving Cert results withheld over suspected cheating

Photo. Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

It has emerged this morning that a number of Leaving Cert students will not receive their results because they cheated or violated exam regulations.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has confirmed 38 results have been permanently withheld.

A further 34 are being provisionally held back from students suspected of cheating while their situation is reviewed.

Nearly 60,000 students received their results last week - with CAO first round offers arriving in yesterday.

The number of students under suspicion is proportionately very small - and the president of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, Eddie McGrath said most are well aware of the dangers of cheating.

"I actually don't know anybody who has caught someone - and that is in a long number of years now involved in the exams," he said.

"A lot of that is down to how well exams are run," he said. "In fairness to the state examination commission the exams are run extremely well."

Mr McGrath is also an exam supervisor. He said staff are well trained to watch out for innovative cheating methods - including the use of smart watches.

"Students are informed well in advance about their responsibilities to ensure that they don't have any smart phones on them or any smart devices [...] they are all left outside," he said.

"You have attendant outside the door, you have posters inside the examination hall and outside the examination hall."

The SEC said it cannot release the exact number of students caught cheating or where it happened - in order to protect the privacy of the people involved.

Mr McGrath warned that students should think "very, very carefully" before attempting to break the rules - adding that getting caught "could have very serious consequences" into the future.

He said it remains extremely important for the SEC to keep the level of cheating as low as possible in order to maintain the integrity of the Leaving Cert and the level of respect it commands internationally.

Reporting from Stephanie Grogan ...