Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of Education and Skills

State Examinations

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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217. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the specific arrangements in place for students under the predictive marking scheme for the leaving certificate in circumstances in which the student has mental health issues that may not be known to a class teacher; if arrangements can be made for a school principal that may or may not be aware of the specific details for the provision of medical certificates in order that they can be taken into account in arriving at the predictive grade; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10783/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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I published detailed guidance for schools on the operation of the calculated grades process on 21 May. The document sets out information on the process of estimating marks for students to receive calculated grades, and this has been sent to all schools. The document, together with Frequently Asked Questions, are available on www.gov.ie/leavingcertificate.  Additional guidance to schools on the avoidance of unconscious bias, interpreting evidence of achievement in the case of students with disabilities, and further guidance on bonus marks that would have applied for answering the written examinations through Irish was issued to schools on 28 May.

Teachers are asked to use their professional judgement, drawing on existing records and available evidence to arrive at an estimated mark for each student. 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.

It is assumed that all teachers have a very good knowledge of their students and are aware of their individual learning needs.   Teachers are asked to be alert to the issue of unconscious bias and to  examine the available evidence objectively, focussing on evidence that is clearly about attainment in the subject and not about other factors, such as absences from school-based summative assessments due to illness, for example.


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