News & Media

Independent Review into Leaving Cert Calculated grades fiasco welcome

14 October 2020

Statement by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Spokesperson on Education, Enterprise and Trade
Aodhan
  • Inquiry must report before the end of the year

Labour Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has welcomed the announcement by Education Minister Norma Foley that she will facilitate an independent review into Leaving Cert 2020.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“I am glad the Minister has listened to Labour’s call for an independent, non-statutory inquiry into Leaving Cert 2020. Her initial decision to commission a  review carried out by US company Education Training Services is nothing but a whitewashing exercise that will not give an adequate examination of the processes, or provide the necessary information on who knew what, when decisions were made and why mistakes were not found.

“The independent inquiry should be led by a Judge or Senior Council and needs to examine not only the processes, but the also the decision making, and the handling of the issue by the Department, Ministers and Government.

“The inquiry needs to determine who knew what and when, an examination of the processes, why mistakes were not found, and how we ended up in such a situation where two serious errors were discovered and disclosed in late September with grades having to be subsequently altered for students.

“The Calculated Grades fiasco has caused students and their parents’ needless anxiety and stress, and they deserve accountability and assurances that this will never happen again. Crucially, recommendations need to be made on how to ensure that such a debacle never happens again and what changes are required for 2021 if it is not possible to facilitate a written exam.

“I am calling now on Minister Foley to bring forward the terms of reference for the inquiry as soon as possible with a deadline to report before the end of the year. The report must then be provided to the Dáil and any findings considered by the Oireachtas Education Committee.