Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.30 7 Sep 2020


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The Leaving Cert Class of 2020 has received record grades this year.

Almost 60,000 students will be able to access their results from 9am this morning.

The calculated grades system, introduced after the exams were cancelled due to COVID-19, has seen the average marks up 4.4% on last year.

Education Minister Norma Foley said this year’s students have shown enormous resilience during the pandemic.

“A sincere congratulations,” she said.

“This has been a particularly challenging and difficult year for the class of 2020 but they have been remarkable.

“I want to acknowledge their intense determination and focus and their patience as they persevered with what really is a new departure for us in the education system.”

The Minister for Education Norma Foley arriving for Cabinet at Dublin Castle schools Leaving Cert The Minister for Education Norma Foley arriving for Cabinet at Dublin Castle, 04-08-2020. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

In a statement, the Department of Education said the results are “stronger” than a normal year -- but noted that the grades estimated by teachers were higher before the calculated grades system brought them down.

The system saw 16.9% of grades reduced.

H1 grades of 90% and above -- equivalent to the old A1 -- are up 3.3% at Higher Level and 1.7% at Ordinary Level.

There was a 3% rise in H1 grades in Higher-Level Irish, with over 800 more students picking up top marks this year.

In English, the increase was 1.3% and in Maths there was a 2% rise at higher level.

In Maths and Irish, the numbers graded at Foundation level has roughly halved.

In Art, Economics, Accounting, Business and Home Economics, the share of H1s at higher level has at least doubled.

Meanwhile, H1 marks in Music rose from 4.3% to 13%.

Leaving Cert Doors are closed as Students from Belvedere College secondary school in Dublin sit their Leaving Cert, 07-06-2006. Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews

This morning, the Teachers Union of Ireland's praised the Class of 2020 for their patience and perseverance during an extremely difficult time.

TUI President Martin Marjoram said he is hopeful the calculated grades system throws up fair results.

“We are reassured,” he said. “We do note that a number of grades have come down as part of the standardisation process but not a huge number.

“I think it is a testament to two things – that the teachers were accurate in what they estimated and also that they were generous towards their students as well.”

Any students who are upset of overwhelmed about their results can contact a free, anonymous 24/7 text support service by texting the word TALK to 50808.


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