Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne TD has called for an overhaul of the Leaving Certificate appeals process.

Deputy Byrne made the comments following yesterday’s High Court judgement which found that the current appeals process is highly unfair and causes untold stress for students.

Deputy Byrne said, “It is truly astonishing that Ms Carter was forced to take a High Court case in order to force the State Examinations Commission to acknowledge the huge flaws in the Leaving Certificate appeals process. There was clearly a blatant error with the addition of marks in her examination script. Common sense should have prevailed but instead the SEC decided to allow this matter proceed to the High Court.

“The High Court judgement in this case is damning. Mr Justice Humphreys found that the current appeals process is simply not fit for purpose. It is highly unfair and causes unnecessary anxiety for students. The judge has said that the situation in this case should not be repeated next year. It is clear that significant reforms are needed to make the appeals process fit for purpose.

“Minister for Education Richard Bruton must ensure that the necessary reforms are identified and put in place without delay. The current six week appeals process is too long and causes far too many students to miss out on their course place. We already know that approximately 5,000 students appeal their results annually. Changes need to be put in place to ensure these 5,000 appeals are dealt with in a timely manner.

“Minister Bruton must commit to delivering on the necessary reforms before the start of the academic year in 2019.”