Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

21.12 22 May 2020


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Education Minister Joe McHugh says he hopes the Leaving Cert grades will be published 'as close as possible' to the traditional results date in mid-August.

He said it's important that results from the calculated grading system are out as soon as possible to allow students plan for their third-level studies.

Students received their grades last year on August 13th.

The Education Minister said it's his 'personal preference' that there would be a similar timeframe this year despite the move to a new grading system due to the coronavirus crisis.

Minister McHugh was speaking on The Hard Shoulder after a dispute over the legal protections being granted to teachers was resolved this afternoon.

The ASTI union confirmed it will be advising their members to proceed with the calculated grading process after they received assurances teachers will be 'full indemnified' by the State against any legal actions taken over grades.

McHugh hoping Leaving Cert grades can be published 'close to traditional date' in August

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Minister McHugh told Ivan: "I think everybody was in agreement with the guidelines and processes that would be needed through schools.

"What the ASTI - and indeed the TUI - requested yesterday evening was further clarification on the extent and detail of the guarantee.

"Both unions are [now] satisfied we move forward and start the process."

The Education Minister said the agreement reached by Cabinet yesterday is the same one from today - but the unions wanted some more clarification for their members.

He said: "The reason why I was very, very eager to get the guidelines out... is that we do have a time-sensitivity here. The sooner we can start this process, it will mean the sooner we can get the results out.

"What I'm hoping for is we get to a date that is as close as possible to the traditional result date in August - I can't confirm that yet because we have to work through the other stages here."

He noted it is important the results come out as quickly as possible for students hoping to move on to third-level education either in Ireland or abroad in the new academic year.

Minister McHugh said officials need to be really clear about where any 'legal fragility' exists - saying the traditional exams would have been open to legal action as they wouldn't have been the exams that students expected.

He also reiterated his message to students that their results won't be based entirely on their mock exams.

He said: "A lot of teachers mark pretty harshly for mocks as a motivating tool... other teachers mark leniently as a motivating tool.

"Mocks are not going to be seen on their own as a precursor to what grade that person will get - it will be [the work] over two years."

Main image: File photo of Education Minister Joe McHugh. Picture by: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

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