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Understanding the Leaving Cert Appeals Process

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Understanding the Leaving Cert Appeals Process

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 

Understanding the Leaving Cert Appeals Process

Successful completion of the Leaving Certificate is a great achievement in its own right. Though it may seem otherwise for a few weeks in late summer, parents know that achievement in life is of course, not measured simply by points and places on high demand courses. Yet, much of the young person’s immediate future is riding on the outcome of their Leaving Cert. It is important that the final product of the exams be as transparent as possible.

The Appeals Process helps young people to get clarity on their results. It also helps to ensure that results are a fair and accurate reflection of the student’s exam performance.

Here, Guidance Counsellor Esther Doyle answers some of the frequently asked questions about the Viewing of Leaving Certificate Scripts and the Appeals Process:

Viewing of Scripts

Will I have access to my oral and practical marks?

Only the scripts from the written and aural examinations are returned for viewing. However, the results of all examination components including written, oral, aural and practical components are re-marked on appeal. Workbooks and LCVP portfolios will be returned for viewing but not the oral.

Is it essential that I view my scripts if I wish to appeal?

No. An appeal application may be made without having viewed the script. However, the viewing facility provides a candidate, who may feel that his/her grade does not fully reflect his/her performance on the day of the examination, with an opportunity to see how the marking scheme was applied to their work.

Can anyone else view my script?

Only if they are accompanying you to the viewing. As the candidate you must first decide whether or not you wish to view a script and then you must be attend in person at the viewing centre in order to do so. Your scripts will not be released to any other person even with your permission, this includes your teachers or family.

Do I have to appeal if I view my scripts?

No, you can just view them, leave and never appeal.

How do I appeal?

When they are given their Leaving Certificate results, students also receive an Application Form for viewing of scripts.

There is also an online appeals facility if the young person is not available to attend the school in person. The form must be printed off, completed and returned to the school in time for the deadline.

When do I apply?

You must return the completed form to the school by Tuesday 18th August, 2015. If you are an external candidate, your personalised application form will be sent to you with your results. The completed form should be returned directly to the school named on your personalised application form by the closing date of Tuesday 18th August, 2015.

What happens next?

The Organising Superintendent appointed by the Commission to your school will assign you to ONE viewing session. The viewing sessions for the 2015 examinations are as follows:

  • Session 1: Friday, 28th August 2015 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm
  • Session 2: Saturday, 29th August 2015 9.00 am to 12.00 noon
  • Session 3: Saturday, 29th August 2015 from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Who decides what session I go to?

The Organising Superintendent will decide and notify you by post of your session.

Who can I bring to see my scripts?

You can invite anybody you like, your teacher, your grind tutor, your parent, friend or you can come alone. If you wish to bring your teacher you will need to get in touch through the school and notify them of your request and your allocated session. Only one person is allowed sit with you at any one time. You can bring different teachers at different times to look at the various scripts. Everyone who attends must sign the attendance sheet.

What should I bring to the viewing centre?

Bring a calculator to add up your scores. Do not bring a phone, pen or camera as they are not allowed. No paper or pens/pencils will be provided or allowed. This is to prevent script tampering. Do I have to stay for the 3 hours? No, you can come anytime during the session and leave anytime you wish.

Will there be exam papers and marking schemes there?

There will be no exam papers but there will be a limited number of exam marking schemes sent by the SEC to the school which you can borrow during the session. It would be a good idea to go on to the SEC website and print off your own copies of the marking schemes before arriving at the centre.

What if I decide to appeal, having seen my exam scripts?

Students who decide to seek a recheck must complete a form which will be available from their school. The Appeals Process is outlined below.

The Appeals Process - applying for a results recheck

What is the procedure for having my results rechecked?

The State Exams Commission will provide your school with a personalised appeal application form. (In the case of external candidates the form will be enclosed with your results). This form is designed so that you can indicate the subject(s) you wish to appeal.

What is the closing date for applying for a recheck?

All requests for a recheck for the 2015 Leaving Certificate Examinations must be with the SEC by 5.30 pm on 2nd September, 2015, so you need to return the form to the school by this date.

What is the appeal fee?

The fees for appealing a result in a subject in the certificate examinations are as follows:

  • Leaving Certificate Established €40 per subject
  • Leaving Certificate Applied €15.50 per subject

Appeal fees must be paid in advance and will be refunded to you if your result is upgraded.

How do I pay my appeal fee?

If you decide to appeal, your appeal is clearly important to you. You alone have control over, and responsibility for, the vital first steps in making a valid appeal:

  • Use the giro/internet form provided, ensuring it is correctly completed.
  • Return it on time to the School/Organising Superintendent.

a. Bank Giro facility: Your personalised appeal application form and associated bank giro form contains a unique reference number which enables the Commission to trace your payment and match it with your appeal application when it is received from your school. You should take the form to a bank and pay the fee through the bank giro facility. The form stamped by the bank should then be returned to the school so that your scripts can be associated with it and forwarded to the Commission.

Please ensure that you use the bank giro form provided by the Commission. If you use a bank giro slip provided by the bank (which does not have a unique identifier) it may delay or totally invalidate your appeal because it could prove exceedingly difficult to subsequently establish that you actually paid the appropriate fee.

b. Internet facility: When you have completed your appeal application procedure on the Internet you will be provided with a Form (which you must print) showing the subject(s) which you have opted to appeal. This Form should then be returned to the school so that your scripts can be associated with it and forwarded to the Commission.

If you are an external candidate (E10) you should return your personalised appeal application form/Internet form to the Organising Superintendent at the centre where you viewed your scripts so that he/she can forward your appeal application to the Commission with the script(s) concerned.

Outside of the formal appeal process, what can I do if, on viewing a script, I see what I believe is a clear discrepancy between the mark awarded and the grade awarded?

In the event that you discover a clear and substantial discrepancy between the mark awarded and the grade awarded, you should ask the Organising Superintendent at the location where you viewed your scripts for a Form AP1 and complete it in accordance with the instructions. The Organising Superintendent will attach this form to your script and send it to the Commission in Athlone where it will receive immediate attention.

You should note: this facility applies only where it is clear that the total mark awarded is inconsistent with the grade awarded and where the matter can be resolved administratively (i.e. without recourse to the question paper or the marking scheme, basically an adding mistake)

The test therefore for what can receive immediate attention after the viewing of scripts is a very rigorous one. Any issue of interpretation regarding disallowed questions, computation of marks within questions and in the script, in relation to the application of the marking scheme, or claims that work has not been fully marked can be resolved only through the formal appeal process and the re-application of the marking scheme by an appeal examiner.

Candidates who opt for this administrative facility should be aware that, because of the short time interval involved, they are unlikely to know the outcome in relation to their claim before the passing of the appeal deadline. It may be wise, therefore, to lodge a formal appeal, so that in the event that the point raised is not upheld, or requires interpretation by an Examiner, you will not have denied yourself access to the appeals process because of the passing of the appeal deadline.

Do many people get upgraded after appeal?

Last year in 2014, over 1,600 grades went up. Most stayed the same and 3 went down.

What should I do if I notice something odd on my provisional results?

Get in touch immediately with your school and seek clarification if you think that any part of a subject is missing (this would be especially important for the practical subjects) or you have any other concerns. The SEC operates a helpline for schools for one week after the results are issued to sort out any difficulties that arise.

Visit our 'Whats Next' Area to find answers to other questions you may have on the post-leaving cert period, from details of available Helplines, to CAO offers, Money Matters and much more.

The CareersPortal Team