Deputy Jackie Cahill

Cahill raises concerns over exam results downgrading in high-performing Tipperary schools


Deputy Jackie Cahill has been in contact with the Minister for Education, Norma Foley T.D. in relation to the downgrading of Leaving Certificate results in a number of post primary schools in the county.

Deputy Cahill spoke to the Minister on a number of occasions over the weekend before and after a meeting with management from two secondary schools in the county. He has sent the Minister supporting documentation and requested answers as to why these schools have seen their students’ grades significantly downgraded in many cases.

“I spoke to the Minister on Friday evening over the phone, and again on Saturday after I met with management from two second level schools in the county. I presented the case for these schools as I saw it. They have had their Leaving Certificate grades significantly downgraded. In one school, 66% of the grades in a subject were downgraded, and in the same school, 25% of all grades were changed by the Department. That is a lot higher than the national average of 17%”, he said.

“In another school in the county, ten students out of a class of sixteen saw their marks reduced by the standardisation process. These grades were evaluated by a teacher with over thirty years’ experience teaching the subject. The teacher is exceptionally experienced and highly respected as an educator in their field. The management cannot understand how the Department can justify second guessing such an experienced teacher to this extent.”

“I understand that other schools and many students are happy with the results they received, and the CAO offers that came out on Friday. I am delighted for them. However, the two schools I met with on Saturday, plus others that have contacted me over the weekend are demanding answers. I imagine these calls will increase today as students will have access to their teachers’ predicted grades.”

“Schools that traditionally perform exceptionally well with Leaving Certificate grades appear to have been hit hard by the downgrading process. Tipperary traditionally has some of the highest performing secondary schools in the country and we are very proud of this. These high performing schools are demanding answers. I am working with them and I will continue to liaise with the Minister and the Department until they receive the answers that these teachers, students and parents deserve”, he concluded.