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Know Your Rights September 2020

Know your rights: Appealing Leaving Certificate calculated grades

I’m not happy with my results.  Can I appeal my Leaving Certificate calculated grades?

Due to the postponement of the Leaving Certificate 2020 written exam, students were offered a State Certificate of Calculated Grades in their subjects for the: 

  • Leaving Certificate
  • Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) – for your outstanding assessments, including your subjects, vocational specialisms and tasks due to be completed in the current LCA session.
  • Leaving Certificate Vocational programme (LCVP) – Link Modules

Your calculated grade in a subject is arrived at by using:

  • Your estimated percentage mark in that subject from your school
  • Your position in your class/subject group as ranked by your school
  • A standardisation process is then applied to ensure consistency across all schools

From 14 September at 9am, you can log in to the Calculated Grades Student Portal to appeal your calculated grade results. There is no fee to appeal your Calculated Grade result. 

However, if you want to appeal your grade, you must submit your appeal by 5pm, 16 September 2020.

The Calculated Grades Executive Office will follow three stages when considering your appeal:

  • Stage 1: They will check that the information was recorded and transferred correctly by the school
  • Stage 2: They will review that the data was correctly received and processed in the national standardisation process
  • Stage 3: If you are unhappy with the outcome of the appeals process you can ask for a review by Independent Appeal Scrutineers

The estimated percentage mark provided by your teacher cannot be reviewed.

If you have exhausted the appeals process and you remain unhappy you have recourse to the Office of the Ombudsman or, if you are under 18 years of age, to the Ombudsman for Children’s Office.

A helpline for students is available from 7 September 2020 until after the CAO first round offers on 11 September 2020. You can call 1800 265 165

The Calculated Grades Executive Office helpline is also available from 7 September 2020 to 16 September 2020. You can call 1800 111 135 or 1800 111 136 (from 9am to 4pm). Outside of these hours, you can email lcsupport2020@education.gov.ie

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the calculated grades awarded or with the result of your appeal, you can choose to sit the written Leaving Certificate exam in the subject(s) in November 2020. Detailed information about the written exams will be published on the SEC website.

If you achieve a higher grade in the written exam than in your calculated grade, your results for that subject will be amended. If the higher grade means you would have been entitled to a higher offer of a CAO course, you will be facilitated in taking up that place as soon as practicable. However, it is not possible to guarantee that you will be able to take up a college course this year.

You can find out more about how appeals will work with the timing of college courses.

You can get detailed information in the Department’s guide Leaving Certificate 2020: Your questions answered and in Leaving Certificate 2020 and calculated grades.


Know your rights: Stay and Spend Tax Incentive

Question: I have booked a hotel break in Kerry in October. What is the new Stay and Spend scheme and how does it work?

The new Stay and Spend scheme allows you to claim tax back on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drink (known as qualifying expenditure) bought between 1 October 2020 and 30 April 2021.

You can check if a business is participating in the scheme by looking out for the ‘Stay & Spend Tax Credit’ logo or you can check Revenue’s list of qualifying service providers.

Under the terms of the incentive:

  • You must spend a minimum of €25 in a single transaction on qualifying expenditure and submit the receipt to Revenue
  • You can submit receipts up to a total of €625, or €1,250 for a jointly-assessed married couple
  • Revenue will provide an income tax credit of up to €125 per person, or up to €250 for a jointly-assessed married couple

 You can claim expenses on:

  • Fáilte Ireland registered accommodation, including hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan parks, camping parks and holiday camps.
  • Food and non-alcoholic drink – served in a café, restaurant, hotel or pub.

You cannot claim expenses on takeaway food, alcoholic drinks, drinks (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic) served without food or amounts below €25.

You do not need to be on a ‘staycation’ to avail of the scheme. You can also claim for expenses you paid in your local area if they meet the definition of qualifying expenditure.

You must have receipts to prove your claim for Stay and Spend expenses.

You can make your claim in two stages:

  1. Submit your receipts to Revenue using the Revenue Receipts Tracker mobile app or using the receipts tracker service in Revenue’s myAccount 
  2. Make an electronic claim for Stay and Spend tax credit through your Income tax return – Form 12 in myAccount (if you are a PAYE taxpayer) or Form 11 in ROS (if you are self- employed).

Read more about the Stay and Spend Tax Credit on citizensinformation.ie

During the COVID-19 pandemic you can contact your local Citizens Information Centre:

•             Bray CIC on 0761 07 6780 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

•             Email Bray CIC at bray@citinfo.ie – anytime

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Bray Citizens Information Centre

You can  find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday,
    9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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