Leaving Certificate - Recent Judgements

March 2021

March 3, 2021

A High Court judge overturned the Minister for Education’s refusal to consider a home-schooled 2020 Leaving Certificate student for calculated grades on the basis that none of those involved in her schooling were registered teachers.   Mr Justice Charles Meenan held that the refusal was “irrational, arbitrary, unfair and unlawful”.

A further case brought as a “lead” case for 60 similar challenges, was heard by Mr Justice Charles Meenan and he gave his decision on 2nd March 2021.   The student claimed that the Minister for Education’s “interference” last August with the work of the Independent Steering Committee on Calculated Grades, directing it not to rely on previous school data or schools historic records in the standardisation process, led to him being unfairly downgraded by 55 points in his Leaving Certificate.

The core issue was whether the Minister for Education’s August 2020 direction, endorsed by the Government on September 1st 2020, to remove school historical data (SHD) – based on the school’s Leaving Cert performance across three prior years – was unlawful.

Mr Justice Meenan ruled that the Minister and the State were fully entitled, despite earlier commitments, to make changes to the standardisation model which they considered to be in the public interest.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in these cases and would like advice on your legal position please contact us at info@joyntcrawford.ie