Sixth Year students call for Education Minister to ‘Scrap School Profiling’

by Dublin Gazette
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A group of incoming and outgoing sixth year students have started a petition calling on Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, to remove the factoring of a schools examination history from the Leaving Certificate Predicted Grading System.

The petition was launched last Tuesday by the Scrap School Profiling group, which consists of students from across the country, including two representatives in Dublin.

So far, the petition has received over 2,270 signatures, with the group receiving support from elected officials including Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, Sen. Lynn Ruane and Paul Murphy TD.

The Ombudsman for Children in Ireland, Dr Niall Muldoon, has also raised concerns regarding school profiling ahead of the release of Leaving Certificate results on September 7.

Gary Gannon TD also tweeted that this issue was highlighted with the former Minister for Education back in April.

Scrap School Profiling launched the petition following the reversal of similar school profiling systems in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland following the release of predicted exam grades. A-Level students in these countries were marked more harshly if they attended school in a disadvantaged area.

Press officer for the Scrap School Profiling group, Evan Pereira, said: “The school profiling issue is part of the broader issue of consultation between the government and students. Minister Foley needs to engage with students and listen to our concerns instead of hiding from those whose education is at risk.”

The petition states: “[Scrap School Profiling] demand that the department of education remove the classist school profiling from the leaving certificate calculated grading system, which would further entrench privilege into our education system. With the hardship that students have faced in the past few months, students deserve more opportunities, not obstacles.”

Aidan Cusack, spokesperson for the group, appeared on Newstalk last Wednesday to speak about the petition, and said: “The only thing [Minister Foley] could say was that there were slight differences [between the predicted grading systems in the UK and Ireland] and she wouldn’t clarify after that.

“She wasn’t able to answer that. I don’t think they’re doing a good job at convincing anyone.”

Leaving Certificate results will be released on September 7, with teacher’s predicted grades expected to be released on September 14.

For more information and to sign the petition, visit Uplift.ie.

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