Close to 65% decrease in students repeating Leaving Cert in 2020

The 64 per cent reduction in the number of students unhappy with their results coincides with the cancellation of written examinations in the summer of 2020 due to Covid-19. Students were offered calculated grades, or the option to sit a written examination in winter of 2020, for each subject.
Close to 65% decrease in students repeating Leaving Cert in 2020

Digital Desk Staff

Only 235 students repeated their Leaving Certificate in 2020, a drop of 64 per cent on 2019 levels, following the introduction of calculated grades during the pandemic.

According to the Irish Examiner, a report published by the Department of Education on Tuesday shows that the number of students who enrolled to repeat their Leaving Certificate fell from 655 in September 2019, to 235 in September 2020.

The 64 per cent reduction in the number of students unhappy with their results coincides with the cancellation of written examinations in the summer of 2020 due to Covid-19. Students were offered calculated grades, or the option to sit a written examination in winter of 2020, for each subject.

The report also shows a decrease in the number of students who enrolled in Transition Year since the pandemic, down from 48,268 in 2019 to 47,544 in 2020, which was a u-turn in a number that had been steadily increasing from 42,891 in 2016.

Transition rates from post-primary to higher education jumped sharply in 2020, which the report suggests is most likely the result of additional places in higher education created in response to changes to the 2020 Leaving Certificate, and the lack of opportunities for school leavers to either seek employment or travel abroad because of public health restrictions.

The number of people going from post primary to higher education jumped by 4 per cent in 2020 to 66.1 per cent, from 62.1 per cent in 2019. In DEIS schools, this was a jump of 5.3 per cent, and in non-DEIS schools an increase of 3.8 per cent.

The number of students in higher education studying remotely also saw a sharp increase on pre-pandemic levels. 14,239 students enrolled remotely in 2020, compared to 10,933 in 2019, and 7,385 in 2016.

"This report offers an important opportunity to assess what we have achieved, and also what more needs to be done to create a world-class education landscape in Ireland,” said Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris.

"One of my key priorities is removing barriers to third-level education. This report confirms transition rates rose to 66.1 per cent in 2020, up from 62.1 per cent in 2019. Among DEIS schools the rate was 46.7 per cent, which is an improvement but leaves us with much more work to do throughout 2022,” he added.

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