Michael Staines
Michael Staines

07.26 21 May 2020


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Leaving Cert students are being warned that giving gifts to teachers will be considered a serious attempt to influence grades.

The warning is included in new detailed guidance on the Leaving Cert's calculated grades system being issued to schools today.

The section on attempting to influence a teacher will warn that sending gifts in the coming weeks will be treated as a serious breach of the system.

Meanwhile, persistent attempts to contact a teacher by a student or parent will be logged and reported to the Department of Education.

Leaving Cert Students sit the first day of the Leaving Cert test at Belveder College in Dublin, 04-06-2008. Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews

The President of the Teachers' Union of Ireland Seamus Lahart told Newstalk that the guidance aims to help teachers mark fairly and ignore outside influences.

“We have advised all our teachers to ignore any attempts to alter the mark they might give to the student and to give an appropriate mark,” he said.

“These guidelines will assist them in giving as fair a mark as is possible and to reward the students for their individual talents and their hard work over the last two years.”

The guidance also sets out the criteria teachers should use to grade each student.

Meanwhile, tutors will be asked to help grade the almost 3,000 students who are studying for an exam outside the school setting.

The approximately 700 students who are home-schooled will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

McHugh File photo of the Education Minister Joe McHugh announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations, 08-05-2020. Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The Education Minister Joe McHugh said the results will not be based on any single exam including the mocks.

“Assessment can be made by tutors outside the school but we will have specific cases which will be difficult, where students have been working and studying for the Leaving Cert with no tuition, doing it from home,” he said.

“What we are going to do in that instance is, we are going to look at every individual case and see if there is any evidence there to determine what the assessed result will be.”

A new online portal will be set-up from next week to allow students to make a decision on whether to be graded for higher, ordinary or foundation level.

They will be allowed to drop downwards from the level they were studying at but not upwards.

With reporting from Seán Defoe


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