Elijah Burke, a home-schooled Leaving Cert student, has brought a case to the High Court to require the Department of Education to reconsider his application for calculated grades.
The 18 year-old, from Mayo, believes that the exclusion of home-schooled students from calculated grades is 'discriminatory' under the Constitution and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.
His mother, a registered teacher and examiner for the State Examinations Commission, wrote to the department several times asking for clarity around calculated grades for home-schooled students. While there is a system of calculation for students in traditional schools, there is no such system in place for those that are home-schooled.
The case made by the Burkes is aims to bring judicial review proceedings against the Department of Education, including an aspect of the scheme which excludes parents acting as teachers or tutors for their home-schooled children.
The case believes that a prohibition on close relatives acting as a tutor for the calculated grades system in the context of home schooled students is “inherently illogical".
The calculated grades system was put in place as a contingency plan for the cancellation of this year's Leaving Cert due to the coronavirus pandemic. The system aims to utilise the past work of students in order to ascertain the grades they would have gotten in the State exams.
Elijah Burke is one of ten siblings that have been home-schooled by their mother. The 18 year-old planned on attending NUI Galway to study either Biomedical Science or History with Music, needing 533 and 318 points respectively in order to study those subjects.
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