The Department of Education has said almost all schools have completed the process of uploading data for calculated grading for the Leaving Certificate 2020.

The Department said it was continuing to engage with a small number of schools to support them in completing the process.

However there is some concern at third level that students are considering deferring college places because Covid-19 restrictions will mean more online lectures and less of the traditional college experience.

The President of IT Sligo has urged students not to defer going on to third-level education because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Dr Brendan McCormack said there have been growing concerns about the potential impact of Covid-19 on the experience of student life in the coming semester, but advised students to continue to apply for third-level courses.

Dr McCormack said that a recent Health Education Authority report indicated that some Leaving Certificate students may be planning to defer third-level for a year, but he said if too many defer for a year then the situation could cause a shortage of spaces on most courses when next year's Leaving Cert students also apply.

He reassured students planning to go to IT Sligo that they will still have a great student experience with its approach to on-campus and online blended learning.

Dr McCormack added: "Our strength in online learning means we are agile and adaptable to provide easy accessible learning for our full time on-campus students. 

"IT Sligo is well equipped to give our undergraduates a truly 21st century education, embracing technology to our advantage, offering seamless access to learning from your laptop."

Dr McCormack confirmed that the institute is, at this stage, only planning to have restrictions for being on campus in Semester One on the basis that the situation will improve and it expects to have more on-campus learning in the new year.

That would mean that students would only have one semester under restrictions out of an average of three to four years' study.

He said the remote learning experience would actually help prepare students for the future workplace.

"The advantages of online learning can often outweigh the disadvantages," he said.

Dr McCormack said the current situation "will pass and the economic recovery will require a steady flow of new graduates to help rebuild our society. The country needs well qualified graduates more than ever at this time".