The Department of Education has confirmed that around one quarter of all CAO applicants this year are presenting Leaving Certificate results from a previous year.

However, it has declined to address a query from RTÉ News as to whether it has any plans to introduce special measures to ensure such applicants do not lose out as a result of grade inflation this year.

Leaving Certificate results from 2020 are expected to be significantly higher than in recent years, as a result of the calculated grades process.

The department has confirmed that around 10,000 of this year's CAO applicants are presenting with results from 2019.

A further 10,000 are applying with Leaving Cert or other kinds of results from years before 2019.

Some of these applicants are concerned that they are now competing at a disadvantage with students from this year, whose grades will be higher, and that they will lose out on college places as a result.

RTÉ News asked the Department of Education whether it was planning to address this anomaly. 

However, the department has declined to respond directly to this question.  

In a statement, it said CAO points requirements for higher education programmes were dependent on a number of factors, including the volume of applications, the number of applicants who meet the entry requirements, the number of places available, and the grades received by applicants.

It said it was not possible to predict, and it would not be appropriate for the department to speculate, on CAO points requirements for this year.

The department also reiterated that an additional 1,250 places have been created this year in universities and institutes of technology as part of a package of measures to support those applying to college.