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Minister launches new CAO points scale


Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 03/09/2015. Minister launches new CAO points scaleTags: Education And Politics Teachers Parents


The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, today launched a new CAO points scale which will be used for entry to higher education from 2017.

Announcing the changes, Minister O’Sullivan said, “In April I announced a package of ambitious reforms designed to better support students transitioning from second level to higher education, including a new grading scheme for the Leaving Certificate to be used from 2017. The new progressive points system which I’m announcing today is a vital element of those reforms.”

The main features of the new scale, which was developed collaboratively by the universities and institutes of technology, are that::

  • it maintains the current alignment between the points awarded for achievement at Higher Level and the points awarded for achievement at Ordinary Level;

  • the difference in the points awarded for each grade varies, reducing the probability that students will achieve the same overall points score. This will help to minimise the allocation of places in higher education by random selection;

  • it will encourage the take-up of Higher Level subjects through the introduction of points for the new H7 grade.

  • it continues to award Bonus Points for Higher Level Maths.

The Minister said: “The new grading system and points scale will apply to students who have entered 5th Year this week and who will sit the Leaving Certificate in 2017. Together, these reforms will help to reduce the pressure on students at exam time and enable them to have a broader and more-rounded learning experience in their Senior Cycle.

“The new scale has been designed to minimise random selection for third level entry, which can be a source of huge frustration for students and their families. It will also reward students who aim higher, both where they take the risk of sitting a higher level paper and for succeeding in those papers to a high standard..”

View the new grading system here

View full press release here


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