The company responsible for the Leaving Cert accredited grades process last year has been engaged with Department of Education officials about how to run a similar model this year, amid calls from students who want an exam alternative.

While there is a reluctance in Government to run Leaving Cert accredited grading again because of anxiety over the impact of grade inflation, sources confirmed the Department of Education and US company Educational Training Services (ETS) have been in contact in recent weeks.

The Irish Independent is reporting that Officials carrying out due diligence asked ETS what might be feasible this year, given the 2021 process is impossible to replicate.

Last year, the prior performance of a class group in the junior cycle was used during the grading standardisation process.

That cannot be applied now because a quarter of this year’s students skipped transition year and did not sit the Junior Cert when it was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

While education officials did not want to consider running accredited grades before meeting significant resistance from students and Opposition parties, channels between ETS and the Department of Education remained open in recent months because of concern potential lockdowns before June would hinder exams, creating a need for an alternative emergency process.

Government sources are sceptical about the need for an accredited grading system because schools remained open during the current academic year.



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