The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. announced today that the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has published research on the earlyEducation and Skills impacts of the revised grading scheme for Leaving Certificate examinations which was introduced in June 2017.

The reform of the Leaving Certificate grading scheme was designed to help to reduce the pressure on students at exam time and enable them to have a broader and more rounded learning experience in their senior cycle. The implementation of these reforms is being overseen by the Transitions Reform Group, which is chaired by the Department of Education and Skills and whose membership includes representatives from across the education sector.

The revised Leaving Certificate grading scheme now has 8 grade bands whereas previously there were 14 grade bands. The smaller number of broader bands was designed to ease the pressure on students to achieve marginal gains in examinations, and encourage more substantial engagement with each subject. The new scheme also awards points to candidates who receive a mark of 30-39 % on a higher-level paper in the Leaving Certificate, equivalent to the new H7 grade, and is designed to encourage the take-up of higher-level subjects.

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