High Court challenge over calculated grades withdrawn

High Court challenge over calculated grades withdrawn

A student who sat the Leaving Certificate in 2019 has withdrawn her High Court challenge to the 2020 calculated grades system after securing a place on her course of choice.

Martha Woods, who claimed she had been unfairly treated and prevented from pursuing a career in dentistry, has withdrawn her case because she has since secured a place on to study dentistry at University College Cork.

When her case came to court last week her lawyers for Ms Woods said she was treated unfairly due to this year’s grade inflation  in the calculated grades system.

They said steps should have been taken to redress the imbalance for students from previous years who were “placed in the same basket” as those who benefitted from 4.4% grade inflation.

In a sworn statement submitted to the court Ms Woods said she sat the Leaving Cert in 2019 and began a course in physiotherapy but left soon after, planning to apply the following year for dentistry.

With 613 points she felt she “would most certainly have achieved a place” in dentistry because the 2019 requirement was 590 points.

After reading explanatory documents about calculated grades process, she understood grades and points for 2020 would be standardised to ensure they were in line with previous years.

She said she was shocked and surprised at the increase in points required and despite having the required the minimum points for dentistry this year, did not gain a place because the course was over subscribed and she lost out on the lottery system.

She has since “reluctantly” accepted her second choice course of pharmacy in UCC but her “absolute career choice” is dentistry, she said.

However, today her lawyers told the court she was withdrawing her case after receiving a place in dentistry in UCC.

Mr Justice Meenan said he was pleased with the outcome and wished Ms Woods every success at university and in her career.

The High Court will next month hear a separate case taken by a 2020 student who missed out on a place to study medicine after her estimated grades from her teachers and school were downgraded under the calculated grades system.

The judge has said he will treat the case initiated earlier this month as the lead case addressing issues with the 2020 Leaving Cert process and hoped to give that an early hearing date.

Aine Finnegan, from Fairview in Dublin, missed out on a place in Medicine at Trinity College Dublin by two points after three of her calculated grades were reduced.

The judge expected the outcome of the Finnegan case would decide some or all of the issues raised in other cases, adding parties in other cases may seek to be joined to the lead case.

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