Secondary school teachers have been instructed not to discuss their estimated grades with students when results are released on Monday.
These grades – a combination of teachers’ estimates and a standardisation process overseen by the Department of Education – have replaced the postponed summer exams.
While students can receive their grades online, many schools are offering their students appointments with guidance counsellors and school staff on Monday.
In advice issued to schools, department guidance states: “These planned interactions with students are intended to support wellbeing and to discuss future education and career options, but schools are reminded that there should be no discussions about schools’ estimated marks submitted as part of the calculated grades process.
“Any questions or queries in this regard should be directed to the calculated grades helpline/email. Guidance counsellors will play a crucial role in supporting these young people to navigate the next steps in their education and career journey by providing up to date information and reassurance in a calm and positive manner.”
The department guidance advises schools to provide support to students through enabling students to come to the school if they wish at a scheduled time -following Covid-19 protocols – to meet with guidance counsellors, year heads, tutors or chaplains.
It says former students who attend the school for a scheduled visit will be required to respect physical distancing requirements and to “behave in a responsible way”, in line with public health advice and the school’s visitor policy.
It adds that “gathering large groups of students in one venue is not recommended at this time”.
However, it adds that schools should apply their Covid-19 protocols if organising “appropriate gatherings of small groups of past students”.
Schools will have the flexibility to ask some classes of current students not to attend school on Monday to ensure adequate social distancing in schools.
All students, meanwhile, will be able to access their grades online from 9am on Monday by logging to the Calculated Grades Student Portal (lc2020.education.gov.ie).
A “before you begin guide” will be available on the student portal home page to guide you through access your results and printing a statement of those results.
CAO first round offers are due to be issued on Friday, September 11th, while an appeals process which will allow students to re-checks of the grades will open on September 14th.
The Irish Times will run a live helpdesk ( irishtimes.com/helpdesk) from midday to 8pm from Monday onwards, staffed by guidance counsellors. It has a selection of frequently asked questions available here.
Separately, the Department of Education unit which compiled the estimated grades will have a helpline (1800 111135 or 1800 111136 ) running from 9am to 4pm on Monday onwards. Outside these hours, queries can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.