Leaving Cert

  • For the second year Aurivo are offering the Gaffney & Mulleady Agri, Food and Nutrition Scholarship programme, which aims to recognise academic excellence and support young scholars hoping to develop their careers in agriculture and agri-related jobs. 

    Scholarships will be awarded to two students currently sitting the Leaving Cert and hoping to enter an agriculture, food or nutrition related bachelor’s degree programme in an accredited third level institution. The €2,500 scholarships are awarded in memory of Paddy Gaffney and Sean Mulleady. Closing date is June 29th 2018. 

    Pat Duffy from Aurivo joined us this morning to explain more. Listen back for more details and download the application form here http://bit.ly/2JZOIYz 

  • It's Results Day for over 1,700 students across Co Mayo, who will receive their Leaving Cert results today along with 59,000 students nationally.

    The results will be available in schools this morning, and will also be available online from 10am at www.examinations.ie

    Five students will open their results to discover they got 8 H1s in their final year exams.

    While 56 students achieved 7 top grades at higher level.

    The State Examinations Commissison says this year’s results are broadly in line with previous years.

    However, the number of candidates who failed ordinary level maths rose from almost 8 per cent last year, to just under 11 per cent this year.

    There was a marginal improvement in the number of students who passed higher level maths.

    For those going onto third-level education, the first round CAO offers will be available from 2pm on Thursday afternoon.

    The National Parents Council (Post-Primary) will operate a helpline facility from this morning to provide information and advice to students and their parents.

    The helpline number is 1800 - 265 165.

    On Leaving Cert results day, a plea is being issued for students’ safety.

     We are friends who look out for each other is the message being promoted on social media and sent to all the Secondary Schools students in county Mayo.

     The campaign is led by Mayo Road Safety officer Noel Gibbons together with a working group of Mayo County Council.

    The Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Westport based Cllr Brendan Mulroy this morning congratulated all the students on their results and hopes they enjoy your night out tonight. But the local authority is reminding those celebrating to sort their lift home before going out and to wear a high viz jacket if you are walking on the road tonight, and stay with your friends.

    15 pedestrians have been fatally injured so far this year on Irish roads. The aim of the campaign is to get those who walk home after drinking to realise the danger they’re putting themselves in.

    The Cathaoirleach told Midwest News today that he is a big fan of the high viz jacket / vest

  • The Leaving Cert appeals process has finished, with only 18 students marks upgraded.

    Seven of these students had not lodged an appeal, but had a grade brought up following quality assurance checks.

    More than 33 thousand individual subject records belonging to around 12 thousand pupils were reviewed as part of the process.

    CAO applicants who are now eligible for a new offer will be contacted as soon as possible.

  • The ASTI has advised its members to engage with the calculated grades system for this year's Leaving Cert.

    The union's resolved a dispute with the Department of Education over legal protection for teachers.

    The calculated grades system for this year's Leaving Cert has been in doubt since last night, when the ASTI said it wouldn't engage with the model.

    They had concerns the state indemnity being offered didn't go far enough - and wanted a guarantee that if a student took a claim, 100 per cent of the legal costs would be covered.

    A meeting has been taking place between union and department officials this afternoon - and the ASTI now says it's secured the necessary clarifications.

    It's been assured that if a student unhappy with their grade sues, no teacher will have to employ their own legal team to defend themselves and run the risk of racking up large expenses.

    The ASTI says it's now in a position to advise members to engage with the calculated grades system for this year's Leaving Cert.

  • There are a number of issues surrounding the plans for this year's Leaving Cert students that need to be clarified by the Department of Education in the coming days.


    That's according to the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland, who says they have a number of questions that still need a definitive response from the Department - such as the marking plans for students that take a subject outside of school.


    It was confirmed last Friday that grades calculated by teachers would replace the traditional exams, and teaching unions and school managers have called for safeguards to protect teachers from being canvassed by students or parents.


    Diarmiad de Paor, Deputy General Secretary of the ASTI, told Midwest News this evening that there's a lot of pressure on teachers, and a number of concerns regarding the plans for this year's Leaving Cert students....

  • Urgent action is needed to tackle the backlog in driving tests, particularly for those in rural areas to need their licence to travel to work.

    That's according to Belmullet-based Councillor Gerry Coyle.

    Current restrictions limit driving tests to those working in essential services, and Councillor Coyle is concerned that this may lead to an increase in learner permit holders driving without a fully-qualified driver accompanying them.

    The Fine Gael Councillor also wants to see students getting their driving licence as part of the Leaving Cert syllabus.

    Councillor Coyle recently brought a motion before Mayo County Council in the matter, calling on the Department of Education and Transport to bring forward legislation that would see extra CAO points being awarded to students who complete a road safety course and obtain a full drivers licence.

    He told Midwest News that being able to drive is essential for young people in rural areas....

  • A Mayo TD is calling for the deadline for Leaving Cert exam fees to be paid to be extended, given the current uncertainty as to when the exams will take place.

    Last week, the Education Minister announced that the Leaving Cert will most likely be rescheduled for late July or August, while the Junior Cert exams will not go ahead, and will be replaced by school-based exams and assessments.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary says the Junior Cert fee should now be scrapped, while the deadline for the Leaving Cert fee - which is the end of this month - should be extended until there's further clarity about the timing of the exams.

  • A Leaving Certificate student from Castlebar, who was denied calculated grades by the Department of Education because he was home-schooled, has won his challenge in the High Court.

    The court said the exclusion of  18-year old Elijah Burke from the calculated grades process was arbitrary, unfair, unreasonable and contrary to law, and it has instructed the Department of Education to reverse it. 

    Judge Charles Meenan said that an independent teacher should be appointed to take the place of Mr Burke's mother and award estimated marks.

    Elijah Burke from Cloonsunna, Castlebar has been home-taught by his mother, who because of her relationship to him was deemed to have a conflict of interest when it comes to arriving at the teacher estimated marks on which the calculated grades process is based. 

    Elijah's mother Martina Burke told Midwest News they were delighted with the High Court judgement - not just for her son but for all students being home-educated across the country.

  • The Naughton Foundation Scholarship scheme is reminding leaving cert students that the closing date for applications for this year’s scholarships  is fast approaching.

    The closing date for receipt of application forms for The Naughton Foundation Scholarship is 5:30pm on Friday, 18th May 2018 and students from all 26 counties are eligible to apply. There will be one guaranteed scholarship for each of the 26 participating counties and five additional scholarships allocated.

    Students are invited to apply if they are currently attending secondary schools in County Mayo, and if they are studying two or more of the following subjects- physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics and applied mathematics. 

    Aaron Hannon, St. Muredach’s College, Ballina was one of the 2017 recipients from County Mayo and is now studying Engineering at Trinity College. Michael Mitchell, St. Gerard’s College, Castlebar was also awarded a scholarship in 2017 and is now studying Nanoscience, Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials at Trinity College.

    Each Naughton Scholarship is valued at €20,000 i.e. €5,000 for each year of the student’s third-level course for a student studying science, engineering, maths or technology in any publicly funded university or third-level institution in Ireland, including Northern Ireland. The school of each winner is also awarded €1,000.

    Full details on the Naughton Foundation Scholarship Programme and the 2018 application form are available for download and can be completed online on The Naughton Foundation website    www.thenaughtonfoundation.com

  • Tonight is the deadline for Leaving Cert students to register for the Calculated Grades online portal.

    In order to get a certificate of Calculated Grades, all Leaving Cert and LCA students must register online before 10pm tonight at www.gov.ie/LeavingCertificate

    To register, students need their examination number, PPS number, a mobile phone number and email address.

    The Department of Education says there are several thousand students who have not yet registered.


  • A drop in demand from international college students could see extra places available for Irish pupils at third level.

    The government is working towards holding the leaving certificate examinations from July 29th.

    Uncertainty surrounding the staging of the tests and how they will operate has been the source of stress for students.

  • The Education Minister has said a further 6,500 Leaving Cert students may have been given HIGHER grades than they should have got.

    That's on top of the expected 6,500 students who were unfairly downgraded by a mistake in the predictive grades system.

    It would mean around one in five Leaving Cert students got a false grade in this year's exams.

    Education Minister Norma Foley admitted said she was still working off estimates when being questioned by TD Mick Barry in the Dáil last night.

  • Two errors have been found in the calculated grades process for the Leaving Cert.

    The mistakes are likely to impact the grades of around 10 per cent of students who sat the exams this year.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed to the Dáil this afternoon there has been a problem with the Leaving Cert grades.

    It's understood about 10% of this year's Leaving Cert students will be impacted.

    The Taoiseach says the Minister for Education Norma Foley will make a comprehensive statement on the matter later this afternoon.

    Mayo Sinn Fein TD Rose Conway-Walsh says it's disgraceful that Minister Foley is not coming into the Dáil today to explain the errors.


  • Four schools in the West are among the 80 schools nationally that will be the first to study PE as a Leaving Cert subject.

    The Education Minister Richard Bruton has published a list of 80 schools that will partake in the first phase of the implementation of the new Physical Education for Senior Cycle programme.

    St Mary’s Secondary school in Ballina is the only Mayo school included on the list of 80 schools, along with Abbey Community College in Boyle, Co Roscommon and two schools in Co Galway – Gort Community School and the Dominican College at Taylor’s Hill in the city.

    The 80 were chosen from 369 schools that had applied to participate in the roll-out of PE at senior cycle.

    This announcement is part of the Government’s emphasis on encouraging healthy lifestyles, and is a key commitment in the Action Plan for Education.

    Students taking the new Leaving Cert subject from September 2018 will sit the first LCPE exam in 2020 – the subject can be taken at both higher and ordinary levels.

    And the new Senior Cycle PE Framework will provide a modern curriculum for teachers to teach PE to all students at senior cycle.

  • Grants have been allocated to schools offering Computer Science and Physical Education as Leaving Cert Subjects.

    104 post -primary schools will offer the courses for the first time from September.

    St Mary’s Secondary School in Ballina is offering Physical education for Leaving Cert this September, while Rice College in Westport is offering Leaving Cert Computer Science.

    Minister Michael Ring says the introduction of the new Leaving Certificate subjects is part of efforts to ensure the education system keeps pace with the changing society and needs of the economy.

    40 Schools will offer Computer Science as a subject in the first phase of its introduction from September

    While 64 will take part in the first phase of the introduction of Physical Education.

    The 104 schools have been allocated a total of four hundred and fifty thousand euro in grants.

  • The Leaving Cert written exams this summer have been cancelled.

    Students will have the option to sit them at a later date or accept a predicted grade.

    Teachers will provide a score for each subject and it'll have to be approved by the school principal.

    The Department of Education will then make sure there's an even national spread before students get their results.


  • The Education Minister has told students to aim for the Leaving Cert starting on Wednesday, July 29th.

    The exams have been pushed back from the usual start date of early June, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Minister Joe McHugh says he hopes to confirm the date in the next couple of weeks.

  • Leaving Cert students could be going back to school on a phased basis from Monday week under new government plans.

    The Sunday Independent reports primary schools would return gradually from March 1st, followed by other secondary classes later next month.

    The cabinet is set to sign off on proposals in the coming days to give Leaving Cert students a choice between calculated grades and written exams - or both.

    Reuban Murray, president of the Irish Second Level Students Union, says sixth years want that option:

  • The vast majority of students want to be given the option to choose between a Leaving Cert exam and Calculated Grades.

    That's according to the Irish-Second Level Students’ Union (ISSU) who have published a report on the State Examinations 2021 and the reopening of schools.

    The survey found that over 81% of respondents want a choice between Calculated Grades or sitting in-person exams in June.

    The survey had over 20,000 responses, and involved a private webinar with over 250 representatives of 480 ISSU member schools.

    Erris based Sinn Fein Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh says there is a deep concern around what shape the leaving cert exam is going to take this year.

    Deputy Conway-Walsh is urging the Education Minister to make a decision soon and offer students the choice between calculated grades & a sitting in-person exam.


  • Two distinct possibilities for how this year's Leaving Cert will be run have been identified by the Department of Education.

    Minister Norma Foley has called on education stakeholders to take part in more discussions on what the exams will look like.

    One option is the full holding of physical exams with modifications to provide greater choice on the paper.

    The other is an alternative option that could include calculated grades, but would also take more account of things like practicals and orals.

    The alternative option may also include some element of written exams, with details yet to be worked out.