News & Media

Guarantee needed on school profiling

13 May 2020

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade

Labour spokesperson on Education, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, has again called on the Government to take steps to guarantee there will be no school profiling when it comes to grading this year’s revised Leaving Cert.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin raised the issue with the Minister for Education in the Dáil today.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“The Minister should withdraw his flippant disgraceful remarks and engage on the substance of the issue of school profiling. People are rightly concerned about the impact of this new system and how it will affect the lives of thousands of students.

“The Department of Education’s own website says that 'estimated marks from each school will be adjusted to bring them into line with the expected distribution'.

“I sometimes wonder if people fully comprehend the barriers that exist to maximising your potential in this Republic.

“For many students, the Leaving Cert will be their only chance to break out of disadvantage, and at least when sitting that written exam, they knew the person marking their paper had no idea who they are, where they’re from or what school they attend.

“While we know the Department keeps records of school state exam performance the release of these are blocked from release under FOI because they are unfair, despite some media publishing School League tables every year.

“The anonymity of the written Leaving Cert is now gone however, and while the Labour Party accepts the assessed grade system as is proposed at this stage, we will not accept school profiling because it's fundamentally unfair.

“This is why we are again calling on the Minister to get rid of any potential for school profiling from this year’s arrangements and let every script and every assessed grade stand on its own merits.”