Changes to Leaving Certificate Results 2020

Statement from Minster Foley, 16 July 2020

16 July, 2020 – Minister Foley announces next steps for this year’s Leaving Certificate students

  • The re-opening of the Calculated Grades Student Portal for Leaving Certificate students to opt to receive Calculated Grades on Monday, 20 July 2020 at 12 o’clock.

  • Leaving Certificate students to receive Calculated Grade results on 7 September

  • First round CAO offers to be issued on 11 September 

  • Results will be available in time for Round 1 offers from CAO and UCAS for colleges and universities in Ireland and UK

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today announced that the Student Portal for the Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades will open for students next Monday, 20 July 2020 at 12 o’clock.

Through this portal, all Leaving Certificate students will be able to confirm that they wish to receive their Calculated Grades results.

The Minister also announced that the results of the Calculated Grades will issue to students on Monday, 7 September 2020. This date ensures that the results will work seamlessly with the CAO college entry system in Ireland and with UCAS, the college application process that operates in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Each Leaving Certificate student who has registered for Calculated Grades when the portal opened initially in May will receive a text message about the portal opening on Monday next.

Over 61,000 Leaving Certificate students are eligible to receive Calculated Grades.

Minister Foley said: “To each student, I want to say: ‘From Monday 20 July at 12 o’clock, please go to the portal at, log in and confirm that you wish to receive your Calculated Grades results later in the summer’

“Calculated Grades will provide you with a formal record of your work and achievements in second-level school. They will be fair and reliable, and will be accepted by employers and colleges.

“The results will be issued on 7 September, so that they will operate seamlessly with the CAO system and UCAS in the UK.

“All of this means that you have certainty that you will be able to use the grades to move on to the next phase of your life, either in work or further study, in the autumn.

“I know how important and exciting this ‘moving-on’ phase of your life is to you, and I am determined to enable you to do that.

“So, when you receive a text message next week, please respond and opt-in to receive your grades on the portal.

“I want to thank all of the stakeholders, students, parents, teachers and school authorities for their collective effort in collaborating with the Department to put in place the Calculated Grades process.

“Putting in place an alternative for Leaving Certificate students, when it was impossible to run the Leaving Certificate examinations in the summer has offered a real way forward for young people.

“I also want to thank the thousands of teachers and school leaders who have worked in schools to provide estimated marks and other data to the Calculated Grades Executive Office in the Department.

“Enormous care has been taken at school level to collect the information about students and to make sure that estimated marks are based on reliable evidence. Important checks were built in to ensure fairness, and teachers responded magnificently to the challenge.”

Calculated Grades Results

Minister Foley said: “The Department has been committed to issuing the Calculated Grades as close as possible to the usual timeframe.

“I know that many students will be anxious while awaiting their results. I want to assure them that the people working on this are taking every precaution to ensure fairness so that students can receive the grades that reflect their work.

“This standardisation process at national level is essential for fairness and equity. It is really important to me that we deliver these Calculated Grades to the highest possible standards, and that the outcomes are fair to students.

“The date of 7 September allows us to achieve this, while working seamlessly with the CAO higher education application processes in Ireland and with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system in the UK.

“The purpose of the Calculated Grades system is to arrive at the grade that each student would have achieved if the examinations had taken place as normal and that the results are in line with previous years. Over 450,000 individual grades have to be prepared and checked and the outcomes need to be reviewed using different demographic characteristics which will include gender and socio-economic status to ensure that the grades are as fair and equitable as possible.

“I have met and heard from the statisticians and experts involved about the intricate processing of the data that is being undertaken. I want to make sure that this work is done rigorously – so that the results of Leaving Certificate 2020 are of the same high quality and reliability as the results in any other year.

“This work is so important for students – we need to take the time it takes, to get it right.

Calculated Grades results will work seamlessly with the Irish CAO process and UK’s UCAS system

Minister Foley said: “Working with my colleague, Minister Simon Harris, I have secured the agreement of the CAO, UCAS and the admissions officers in Irish higher education institutions, that when the results are issued on 7 September to students, the Calculated Grades will be treated within the CAO and UCAS systems in the same way as the Leaving Certificate results of any other year.  First round offers of places from the CAO system will issue later the same week, on Friday 11 September.

“The arrangements for the issuing of results on 7 September means that students hoping to study in Irish colleges and universities will be able to start their courses a few weeks later. It will also mean that Irish students, hoping to study in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, will meet all UCAS deadlines.

Minister Foley thanked the Ministers for Education in Belfast and London, the CAO, UCAS and the presidents, registrars and admissions officers in Irish colleges for the way in which they have worked with the Calculated Grades Executive Office to achieve this good outcome for the students of 2020.


All students, whether they opted to receive the Calculated Grades or not, will have the option of taking the Leaving Certificate examination later in the year.

Any student who is unhappy with a Calculated Grade in any subject can seek an appeal and also opt to take the written examination in that subject.

Applications for appeals will open on 14 September.

Leaving Certificate Examinations

The State Examinations Commission stated that it hoped to be able to run the Leaving Certificate examinations during the month of November.

Small number of students will not be able to receive grades

A small number of students will not be able to receive a Calculated Grade for all of their subjects. For example, if students were entirely self-taught or taught by a parent for a particular subject, there would not be a credible source of evidence on which to base a Calculated Grade in a way that would be fair to other students.

The Calculated Grades Executive Office has been processing applications and reviewing cases with schools and decisions will be issued to students in the coming weeks.

Notes to Editors

  • Further information on the Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades process is available at Certificate
  • Results will issue to students on 7 September. The process for disseminating the grades to students will be discussed with education stakeholders over the coming weeks and advised to students
  • As in other years, the results will have been provided to the CAO and to UCAS a short time in advance, so confirmation of first round college places from colleges in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will issue to students on 7 September
  • First round offers of places from the CAO system will issue later the same week, on Friday 11 September.

Contact Information

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Santry, Dublin 9
Phone: +353 (1) 862 3346