Questions are being raised over predicted Leaving Cert grades, with results due to be issued on 7 September, after controversy in Scotland which also had predicted grading.

Questions are being raised over predicted Leaving Cert grades, with results due to be issued in on 7 September, after controversy in Scotland which also had predicted grading.
Yesterday Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologised and said they had got it wrong after results showed that many grades were revised down by examination boards after they moderated grades submitted by teachers.
Ms Sturgeon said there had been too much focus on the system and too little on the pupils involved.
President of Maynooth University Philip Nolan has said he has a sense of caution and carefulness around the predicted Leaving Cert grades.
Philip Nolan says he would like to know what exactly the issue in Scotland is, how the errors occured and what will be done to remunerate the situation.
He told Today with SMI that teachers have worked very hard to allocate fair calculated grades and it’s important that the grades are comparable to previous years.
Professor Nolan said there are different systems of moderation in both countries and schools here will already have taken the steps to examine the distribution of grades this year and make sure it aligns to previous years.
He said he cannot think of a better way of doing this that the department and teachers have put in place, in collaberation.
He added that the department of education has been very alert to the possibility of disadvantaging students and put safeguards in place to make sure this doesn’t happen.
The President Second Level Students Union has said the most important thing is that the Department of Education looks at what has happened in Scotland and learns lessons from it.
Reuban Murray said no one can judge the process until the results are released but that the fundamental values of it have been based on equity and fairness. 
He told the same programme that there needs to be more clarity around the appeals process and said those guidelines have not fully been communicated to students. 
He said that students are trusting their educators and the Department to deliver a fair system.
Meanwhile, People Before Profit TD Brid Smith said there is a danger that the algorithms will go against those from a disadvantaged background and all students should have been able to apply to third-level institutions.
She said many students would be automatically excluded from applying because they cannot afford college fees, adding that those who cannot keep up in the course in the first year “would soon be found out”.
Earlier Labour’s Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Riordáin said the educational system should “bend until it cracks” in order to prevent a student in a disadvantaged situation not being able to make their way through the school system.
Mr Ó Riordáin said Scotland’s experience of calculated grades shows that disadvantaged students had a disproportionate number of marks reduced and he is concerned the situation might be repeated in Ireland. 
He said that Labour did not call for the Leaving Cert to be cancelled or postponed because the party was not sure a fair system could replace it but his party raised concerns when a school profiling element was included in the calculated grading system. 
Mr Ó Riordáin said that if a similar situation to Scotland arises in Ireland immediate measures must be taken to correct it.