It has been announced today that some 3,000 Leaving Cert students - who'd appealed for their exams to be rechecked - have received upgraded grades. This represents a record number of students receiving increased grades following an appeal.
The surge in the number of students appealing their grades is due to a change in teh scheduling of appeals. Prior to this year, appeals were a traditionally lengthy process, the results of which would typically not be available to each student well into the beginning of the college year. However, this changed following a case brought to the High Court last year by a Leaving Cert student, Rebecca Carter, who missed out on a place on her preferred college course due to her not receiving her upgraded results in time to take her place following a grades appeal. Her case against the SEC was successful and a fundamental change to the timescale of the appeals process was implemented to ensure the same fate did not befall any students taking their Leaving Cert in 2019.
In all, some 2,916 upgrades were awarded. This represents some 17.2% of the 16,965 people overall who appealed to have their exams reassessed.
Students who have received higher grades through the appeals will now be able eligible to secure higher placing college courses they may've missed out on through the CAO. This will however pose problems for numerous colleges, as courses were under no obligation - nor could they reasonably have legislated for - keeping a number of spaces free in each of their courses in anticipation of appeals. However, they are obliged to try accommodate these students. So, say if a student receives an upgraded mark which makes them eligible for their first preference CAO choice - which they had originally missed out on - they should be treated as if they are to be offered the course on the first round of CAO offers.
Universities have said that they will do all they can to accommodate students that find themselves in this situation. However, they said there will almost certainly be some difficulties in certain cases trying to find spaces on courses.
However, it was not all good news, as two people out of those who appealed, had their marks downgraded. A needlessly cruel slap in the face if ever there was one.