Universities fear Leaving Cert results for more than 60,000 students will be released later than normal this year.
While results are traditionally released in mid-August, education sources say the decision to hold a second round of exams in July for Covid reasons could push results back to late August or early September.
A date for the release of the Leaving Cert 2022 results is expected to be announced shortly. The CAO’s first-round offers for college applicants are usually released a few days after the release of the exam results.
Higher education sources fear a delay in Leaving Cert results could force them to postpone the start of the new academic year for freshmen.
This, in turn, could lead to a rush for last-minute accommodation among freshmen.
Education circles are also concerned that a later results date could impact the academic hopes of thousands of students hoping to study abroad.
Leaving Cert exams are scheduled to begin June 8 and end June 28. An alternative series of Leaving Cert exams will take place shortly after, which will be limited to certain categories of students, such as those experiencing close family bereavement, Covid-19 disease and certain other serious illness categories. Strict eligibility criteria will apply to this emergency session.
The authorities will probably have to wait until they have the two sets of corrected exam results before publishing the results.
This summer will mark a result in traditional exams, although students will have additional choice and fewer questions. This is to accommodate Covid-related disruptions in the school year.
Education Minister Norma Foley said this year’s overall grades will be ‘no lower’ than last year’s record set of results.
This will be achieved by allowing the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to apply a “post-marking intervention”, which will increase the marks of all students, if necessary.
Separately, the SEC made direct appeals to principals to encourage teachers to work as examiners for Leaving Cert oral exams just weeks before they start.
Authorities are facing challenges hiring teachers this year due to a combination of the threat of Covid-19 and the need for more examiners on the basis that attrition rates are likely to increase. be much higher than normal.
The commission said it would continue to accept applications from teachers for positions as oral examiners in all subjects beyond the published closing dates and until exams start in three weeks.
Oral exams traditionally take place during school time, shortly before or after the Easter holidays.
This year, however, exams are to take place in schools during the first week of the Easter school holidays – April 9-14 – to minimize disruption to teachers and learning in schools.
Oral examinations will take place in Leaving Certificate Irish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese and, for the first time, in Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese. The Leaving Cert music practical exam must also take place.
Authorities hope that in addition to the professional benefits of engaging in external examination work, higher pay rates this year will attract more applicants.
In addition to the “revised arrangement fee” of just under €223.93 for attending a training conference, teachers are paid €25.16 per applicant in most cases.
Travel costs and subsistence allowances for all contract agent posts are also covered.
The higher rates
Rates are also higher for the correction of written exams in the summer. In addition to the €223.93 fee to attend a digital grading conference, examiners must obtain an additional fee of €150 for 25 Leaving Certificate scripts and €75 for 25 Junior Cycle scripts. This translates to an additional €6 per Leaving Cert script and an additional €3 per Junior Cycle script, which will be paid on top of the normal subjects per script.
In addition to advertising to teachers, the SEC made direct appeals to principals for their support and assistance in encouraging their teachers to apply for this job.
All “suitably” qualified teachers are welcome to apply for exam positions. Examiners are selected based on their teaching and assessment experience and qualifications
Applicants must hold a postgraduate degree or equivalent; have recent teaching experience in the field concerned or in a related field; and be available to work full-time for the duration of the marking.