Rebecca Carter, an 18-year-old student from county Wexford is taking legal action against the State Examinations Commission after an examiner incorrectly totted up her marks. This has led to her potentially losing her place in UCD to study veterinary medicine.
The Irish Times reports that after she brought up the issue with the State Examinations Commission they decided that they would not re-check her results before mid-October and given that UCD allocates its course placements by the end of September at the latest, she decided to take legal action over the prospect of this costing her her place in university.
Ms. Carter is also suing the Central Applications Office, and UCD in an attempt to make the college unable to refuse her a place on the course. The judge overseeing the case, Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys was informed that UCD have reserved her potential place on the course until 30th September to allow the case to proceed and hopefully come to some resolution regarding her exam results.
Ms. Carter repeated her Leaving Cert this year and received 554 points, with veterinary medicine being offered at 560 points in the first round of CAO offers. However this dropped to 555 points in the second round, leaving her just one point shy of the entry requirements. However, she felt that her results did not adequately reflect her performance in the exams and, after applying and being granted a review of her exam scripts in the presence of two teachers, an error was noticed on her business paper. In one section the examiner had incorrectly added together marks to a total of 56 instead of 66. If she had been graded correctly she would've had the requisite points to be offered a place in veterinary medicine.
After alerting the State Examinations Commission to this error they then informed her that they would not be able to address the issue and amend her results until mid-October, which would result in her only being able to apply at 2019.
Michael O'Higgins SC, who is representing Ms. Carter, said that despite the efforts made by Ms. Carter and her family to have what is essentially a simple administrative error resolved there had been no movement on the issue and that Ms. Carter had legitimate expectations that her Leaving Cert results as provided would be correct.
Aoife Carroll, the barrister representing the State Examinations Commission said that there are over 9,000 issues that the commission is dealing with in relation to over 5,000 candidates, and that the case was in danger of setting a precedent so that next year there would be some 5,000 applications for judicial review.
Ms. Carroll asked for an adjournment to next week to file opposition papers, and Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys told both her and UCD that they needed to file opposition papers by 11 o'clock next Monday, with a view to a potential hearing on Monday or Tuesday.
H/T: Irish Times