The Social Democrats have called on the Minister for Education to provide clarity and certainty to the thousands of affected students who had their Leaving Certificate results downgraded due to errors identified in the predicted grades marking system.

Gary Gannon TD, the party’s spokesperson on Education, said:

“Following yesterday’s revelations that around 6,500 students received downgraded results in error, it is only right that the Minister should come into the Dáil this evening and account for her Department’s handling of this very serious development.

“We still need further clarity on why it took a full week for these errors to be brought into the public domain. We also need to know if the students who were upgraded in error will also be notified.

“In addition, does the Minster believe that these errors are in part the cause of many students being dissatisfied with their results from the predictive grade model, with 12,292 students seeking appeals?

“Moreover, will these errors cause a delay in the appeal process and is there a date when the appeals will be released?”

Holly Cairns TD, the Social Democrats spokesperson for Further and Higher Education, added:

“Over the past 24 hours, the main focus has been on the Department of Education. However, we also need the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris TD, to outline how the affected students will be accommodated in the course they are entitled to.

“Colleges and universities will need to be given extra funding and resources to safely admit these additional students. Extra teaching staff, learning facilities and lab spaces may also be required.

“Students should be compensated for any additional costs associated with this disruption as it is a problem of the Department of Education’s making. Specific funding also needs to be put place to allow them take up their preferred course or help them move and possibly get deposits back on accommodation if they have already relocated.

“Every student who wants to participate in their course this year needs to be given the opportunity to do so.”

October 1, 2020

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