It has been announced that students sitting the Leaving Cert this year are set to receive their CAO offers four days earlier than in previous years.
Traditionally there has been a five day wait between when students are issued their results by the State Examinations Commission and when they receive their CAO offers. However, due to several issues in the scheduling of results last year - including a student bringing a case to the high court against the State Examinations Commission and the CAO after she was initially told that she'd missed out on a place in veterinary sciences in UCD because she lacked the requisite points total after an exam paper of hers was erroneously given a lower grade than it ought to have been. Despite the student appealing the mistake in her grade, the scheduled appeals process would've still resulted in her missing the cutoff point for late entry into the course and thus still resulted in a deferral. She successfully argued to the High Court that this infringed upon her rights and thus had her appeal expedited and was granted a place on the course.
To avoid the threat of similar cases being brought against the CAO and State Examinations Commission, given the existence of this legal precedent, both bodies have sought ways for the whole process of distributing results and dealing with any potential appeals to be accelerated this year.
With it being announced that students are to receive their Leaving Cert results on Tuesday, 13 August, the wait for CAO offers - typically five days - has been shortened to 48 hours. Students will be able to access the first round of CAO offers from 2pm Thursday, 15th August.
This comes in tandem with the announcement that the State Examinations Commission is looking to bring forth the date by which students will receive their appeal results by three weeks. Students can expect to receive appeal results in the week of 16th September.
If this goes to plan it would allow students, where applicable, to accept and take up positions on college courses in September rather than having to be deferred a year, putting the CAO and SEC at risk of other litigation.