Leaving Certificate results to be issued on September 3

Results being issued later than normal will affect start dates for fresher students

Leaving Certificate results for 2021 will be issued to students on September 3, the Department of Education has announced.

Minister for Education Norma Foley made the announcement yesterday.

As this date is three weeks later than normal, it will affect college start dates for fresher students.

The Leaving Certificate this year includes both examinations and Accredited Grades. For each subject, students were given the option to sit examinations, receive Accredited Grades, or both. In subjects where students opt for both examination and Accredited Grade, they will automatically receive the higher result. 

This new system combined with a record 84,000 students applying for college places in Ireland through the Central Applications Office (CAO), means that expected inflation of this year’s Leaving Certificate grades is likely to raise CAO points for Higher Education courses.

99% of Leaving Certificate students have opted for an Accredited Grade in at least one subject, and 91% have opted to sit an examination in at least one subject. 

The written examinations are to take place from June 9 to June 29. Students’ performance in the written examinations will not be used to calculate their Accredited Grades, nor will Accredited Grades influence the examination result. 

In September, the grades will be issued directly to students through the Candidate Self Service Portal, where they selected their options. 

Shortly after results are issued, students will have access to more information regarding both sets of results.

Candidates who sat any examinations will be able to see the marks awarded in the examinations and any components of these. 

Also, candidates who opted for Accredited grades in any subjects will have access to the estimated percentage marks submitted by their school, the accredited mark following standardisation and the Accredited Grades by the State Examinations Commission. 

According to the Department of Education, this information is provided in order to “aid candidates who may be considering an appeal of a result in a subject”. 

Usually, Leaving Certificate results are released in the second week of August, and CAO offers for college applicants are made shortly afterwards. 

Following today’s announcement, the CAO are working to develop a new schedule for the release of offers and acceptance. It is likely that round one offers will be made from Monday, September 6.  

Labour education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin criticised the delay in results for creating “more anxiety for students who have already endured a roller-coaster year”. He called on Foley to move the date to mid-August.

He said he is “at a loss as to why the results date will be in September” because “the written exams are taking place at the usual time, and the accredited grades system is already in place”.

Last year, results were also delayed until September 7, causing Irish Third Level Institutions to adjust their timetables for freshers’ students. In Trinity, the Orientation week for Junior Fresh (JF) students began on September 28 2020, with teaching beginning on October 5. Meanwhile, teaching for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students began on September 28. First years also did not have a reading week in Michaelmas term.

According to College’s 2021/22 Academic Year Calendar, undergraduate Orientation is scheduled to take place the week beginning 6 September 2021, and teaching term to commence on September 13. 

Trinity News has reached out to College for comment. 

In a statement released this evening, Dublin City University (DCU) announced that it would “revise its plans to welcome new first year students to campus”. Campus accommodation move-in dates for first year students will also be adjusted accordingly. 

DCU had originally planned to begin first year orientation on September 13th, with teaching commencing for all students on September 20th. Courses for continuing undergraduate and masters students will resume as planned. 

Union of Students in Ireland (USI) President Lorna Fitzpatrick said that “the date for Leaving Cert results means there are lots of logistical challenges for CAO, UCAS and college start dates”. 

Fitpatrick continued saying that “the impact on students must be the main focus when dealing with these very real and practical issues”.

Sarah Emerson

Sarah Emerson is currently a Deputy News Editor of Trinity News. She is a Senior Sophister English Literature and Jewish and Islamic Civilizations Student.