The Minister for Education has lost a Supreme Court appeal against findings that two home-schooled students were unfairly excluded from the Leaving Certificate calculated grades process in 2020.

Education Minister Norma Foley had appealed against the Court of Appeal decisions in two cases.

The cases involved two home-school students who were excluded from the calculated grades scheme but were subsequently awarded grades after winning their High Court case.

The cases involved 18-year-old Elijah Burke from Co Mayo who was home-schooled by his mother, Martina - a registered teacher. She was deemed to have a conflict of interest in providing estimated marks for the calculated grades process.

The second case involved a 17-year-old girl from Co Kilkenny who was home-schooled mainly by her mother, with assistance from her father and private tutors - none of whom were registered teachers.

After winning their High Court case, the State had appealed the cases to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court for clarification of certain legal points.

Today the Supreme Court ruled that the students' exclusion from the calculated grades system was an impermissible interference with the constitutional freedom of the family to provide education in the home.


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