Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Departmental Correspondence

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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201. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on correspondence from a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5895/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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259. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the practical, project and course work element of the leaving certificate will be adjudicated. [6328/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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261. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the student records which will be utilised to formulate a calculated subject grade. [6330/20]

Photo of Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireDonnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central, Sinn Fein)
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279. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the guidance which will be given to teachers regarding the evidence they are expected to use in the calculation of grades; and the extent to which discretion will be given. [6396/20]

Photo of Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireDonnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central, Sinn Fein)
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280. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if mock exams, junior certificate and Christmas exams will be included to be taken account of for calculated grades; and if so, the weighting of each. [6397/20]

Photo of Donnchadh Ó LaoghaireDonnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central, Sinn Fein)
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287. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the same guidance will be provided for teachers that are teaching leaving certificate applied students as to students generally; and if not, the nature of this guidance. [6404/20]

Photo of James BrowneJames Browne (Wexford, Fianna Fail)
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299. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied);; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6444/20]

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
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331. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if a Leaving Certificate student studies a subject outside of the school such as music and so on, if they will they have to be included in the internal class ranking order by school teachers and principals in cases in which that subject is also offered by the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6601/20]

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
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332. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if clarity will be provided on the issue of project work which was submitted to the State Examinations Commission in anticipation of the normal leaving certificate; if the projects can be returned to the teachers; and when this might happen particularly in relation to physical projects such as art, design and communication graphics and so on in cases in which a scan or photograph would not give a proper idea of the grade necessary to award a student. [6602/20]

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
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333. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider providing an opportunity for principals of schools to explain the profile of a school and particulars relating to the 2020 leaving certificate class in cases in which it might be seen as different to previous years and provide the data of the school such as CAT scores, STEN and junior certificate results and so on to backup such particulars in order to inform his Department when processing the school level data as referred to in part 10.3 of the Guidelines for Predicted Grading in order that individual years will not be negatively affected by the results of previous or less academic years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6603/20]

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
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334. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if a timetable will be published for each stage of the leaving certificate predicted grading process; if reports that work needs to be received ideally by the end of May 2020 will be clarified in view of the fact there are many issues to be clarified in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6604/20]

Photo of Martin HeydonMartin Heydon (Kildare South, Fine Gael)
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372. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the additional provisions being made for students with special educational needs that were due to sit the leaving certificate in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6799/20]

Photo of Cian O'CallaghanCian O'Callaghan (Dublin Bay North, Social Democrats)
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403. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the oversight measures that will be put in place to protect against implicit bias with respect to the arrangements for predictive grades to replace the leaving certificate exams; if teachers will receive training on implicit bias; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6998/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 201, 259, 261, 279, 280, 287, 299, 331 to 334, inclusive, 372 and 403 together.

Calculated Grades will be generated using a systematic model. It will combine estimates of a student’s expected performance in a subject and level, with information about how students in the school have fared in this subject in recent years in line with national performance standards over time.

The first source of data will be provided by the subject teacher. It will then be aligned in the school, with teachers consulting on the results before the school’s principal reviews the process applied to assure the fair treatment of students. The school then sends the data to my Department.

A detailed document A Guide to Calculated Grades for Leaving Certificate students 2020is available on the Department’s website. It explains further how the system will work including how marks for students with special education needs should be estimated.

There will be strong oversight and control and a number of inherent quality assurance measures to ensure students receive as fair a result as possible.

Teachers are being asked to draw on existing records and other available evidence, to provide a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the most likely percentage mark that each student would have achieved if they had sat their examinations and completed coursework under normal conditions.

Teachers will use a number of records in assessing a student’s performance and progress; for example, classwork and homework; class assessments; examinations in school at Christmas or summer, mock exams and also coursework. They will not be simply passing on results from mock examinations or other tests. Junior Cycle results are not being used at an individual student level as a prediction of a student’s likely performance in this year’s Leaving Certificate.

Detailed guidance for teachers on the operation of the calculated grades system is being finalised for issue.

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