Minister for Education Norma Foley has defended the decision to allow Leaving Certificate students access to their class ranking as part of the calculated grades process.
Under the process, teachers were required to award estimated percentage marks to their students and rank them in order of expected achievement. Leaving Cert students who received calculated grades this year will be able to see their ranking from next Monday. The Department of Education is making the information available to students through the calculated grades online portal after receiving legal advice on the issue.
Ms Foley told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show that the move was all part of the calculated grades process. She said she wanted to clarify that the information belonged to the students and they were entitled to that information.
If the students were to pursue the information through a data request it would take a considerable amount of time, she said. It was entirely up to the student if they wanted to access the information, but they could access only their own rank order, she pointed out.
The Minister said that she knew the entire calculated grades process had been difficult for everyone and that many teachers had participated in the system despite their objections so that students could have a Leaving Cert result.
There was a legal requirement that the students have access to the information, she said. With regard to concerns raised by the ASTI about the safety of teachers from Covid, Ms Foley said that a phenomenal amount of work had been done by school committees and that everything had been underpinned by public health advice, influenced by the WHO, the European Centre for Disease Control and the Irish public health authorities.
All decisions in relation to schools were adjudicated by public health experts, she said. “We want the entire school community to be safe.” Ms Foley said she wanted to reassure everyone that everything that needed to be done was being done.
“All the experts say that schools are the safest places,” but it was understandable that there was a degree of fear and anxiousness. “I have a fear every day about the consequences of practices.”READ MORELeaving Cert students to have access to class rankings from next week