THE LEAVING Certificate class of 2020 have received results higher than any other year on record.
An estimated 60,000 final year secondary school students will receive their results today, after a shortened school year and teacher-calculated grades following the cancellation of exams due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The calculated grades have led to results which are on average 4.4% higher than last year's, with more H1 grades-- the highest grade possible-- up 3% compared to last year.
A report issued by the Department of Education this morning states that the proprotion of H1 grades have risen from 5.9% to 8.9%, and the combined proportion of H1 and H2 grades up by 5% from 20,9% last year to 25.9% this year.
The amount of O1 and O2 grades, the highest possible results at Ordinary Level, have also risen by 3.5% compared to last year.
This year's results were calculated by teachers predicting their students grades before national standardisation was applied across the board; the report by the Department of Education indicates that had standardisation not been applied, the rise in grades would have been even higher, at 5.3% instead of 3%.
Unlike in the UK, schools in Ireland were not subject to standardisation depending on whether their school had overperformed or underperformed in the past, with the Department stating that had this been the case, 60% of Higher Level grades and 25% of Ordinary Level grades would have been reduced.
Approximately 17% of teachers' calculated grades were reduced nationwide.
A spokesperson for the Department said these aggregated results are "a stronger set of results than would arise in any normal year, while also being lower than the results that would have emerged if the school estimates had been left unadjusted".
Speaking as students are waiting to learn about their results, which will become available from 9am, Minister for Education Norma Foley congratulated the class of 2020, acknowledging "this is a very different day from what we had anticipated for you, and from what you had planned and dreamed for yourselves.
"I do appreciate what an especially difficult time you have had over the past six months, and I want to commend you for the patience, courage and resilience you have shown in that time.
“This has been a challenging time for students, their families and school communities.
"However, I do believe what has been created is the fairest possible solution given the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves as we journey together through the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, with confidence, you can look back with pride on all that you have achieved and look forward with courage to the next exciting phase of your lives.”
Students will hear if they have been accepted into their desired college from 2pm on Friday, 15 September.