A total of 6,100 students are to get improved marks following a review of the Leaving Certificate calculated grades system.

The review found a third error in the coding used to standardise results, in addition to the two mistakes discovered last week.

All Leaving Cert 2020 students have been informed this evening whether or not they have been affected.

Those who are entitled to an improved grade can see that improved grade on the student portal.

5,408 students will receive a higher grade, by one grade band, in one subject.

621 students will receive a higher grade, by one band, in two subjects.

71 students will receive a higher grade, by one band, in three or more subjects.

Minister for Education Norma Foley has confirmed that while 6,100 students received grades that were lower than they were entitled to, around the same number of students have been awarded grades that were higher than they should have been.

The Department of Education said the exact number of students to whom this occurred will be made available but not yet.

These students will not be downgraded. However confirmation of this will lead to concerns over what the impact will have been on CAO college offers, and how many students may have lost out on college places because they were competing with others who received results that were incorrectly inflated.

The Chief Inspector at the Department of Education said he believed the numbers of students adversely affected by this was quite small. Harold Hislop said the only way to address this would be to rerun the CAO system from the beginning again and that this was not a possibility.

Addressing this concern and defending the process, Minister Norma Foley said this year had seen the largest increase in college places – of the order of 5,000 - and she said calculated grades were brought in "at an extraordinary time".

The third error discovered in this latest review had to do with the incorrect treatment of Junior Certificate results belonging to students who were missing one of the three core subjects of Irish, English, and Maths.

The company contracted to carry out this latest review Educational Testing Service corrected this newly discovered mistake during the review process.

ETS also found a fourth "issue" which "does not exactly match what is described". However the Department was reluctant to call this an error. It said it was an anomaly which had not impacted on students' results.

Due to the very short timeframe, the ETS carried out an audit of a sampling of the coding used, not a full audit of the entire code.

In its two-page report, ETS states that "other than the two issues identified, the other parts of the complex algorithm reviewed match the procedures described".

This evening Minister Norma Foley reiterated her apology to students.

"You have had an exceptionally difficult year, I am sorry for that. And I'm sorry that this last week has delivered more uncertainty for you.

"I wish you every success for your choices and your future."

A file was sent to the CAO this afternoon and it will now establish how many students will get a new offer. 

It is hoped that information will be available by tomorrow.

The CAO will then recalculate the points of individual students affected.

Some 340 students are going to move from a H2 to a H1 grade while 892 will go from H3 to H2.

The majority of the changes will take place between H5 to H4.


Read more:
The week the calculated grades process unravelled