Leaving Cert results to be released in August for first time since before pandemic

It is as yet unclear whether the earlier release will prevent delays to first years starting college

Minister for Education Norma Foley has announced that Leaving Certificate 2023 results will be released on August 25, in what she called “a significant and very welcome step towards pre-pandemic norms”.

For the past three years, Leaving Cert results have been delayed until September, causing first year undergraduate students to begin their academic terms several weeks after students in years above them.

The new date is still significantly later than was ordinary pre-pandemic, with results being released on August 13 in 2019 and August 15 in 2018.

According to College’s academic calendar, Junior Fresh students are currently scheduled to begin two weeks after older years. It is not yet clear whether today’s announcement will lead to a revision of this timeline. Trinity News has contacted College for comment.

The Irish Universities Association (IUA), of which Trinity is a member, have welcomed the announcement: “This is a positive first step in bringing the results forward, reducing pressure on students to make timely college or career choices and find accommodation.”

The late release of results in consecutive years has previously drawn criticism from stakeholders in further and higher education, including the IUA.

In March, the IUA, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), and the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) called on government to release the 2023 results earlier than September. They voiced concerns about the “enormous burden” placed on students progressing from secondary to third-level education.

Last month, College’s Vice-President Orla Sheils said that the delay “has to stop”, lamenting the staggered start it causes for students.

“It is difficult to pinpoint an excuse for the ongoing delay that justifies the enormous disruption to students’ progression beyond second level education,” she said.

Leaving Cert exams, which are due to begin next month, will still include deferral measures which have been introduced in previous years for candidates who experience bereavement or major illness or injury during the main exam period.

According to Foley, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) will also implement a post-marking adjustment following completion of marking, for the purposes of “avoiding any cliff edge in grades as compared to the pandemic years”.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is the current Social Media and Managing Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as News Editor, Assistant News Editor and copyeditor.