The Leaving Certificate class of 2020 will receive results later this morning that are higher than any other year on record.

The Leaving Certificate class of 2020 will receive results later this morning that are higher than any other year on record.
Around 60,000 students are receiving their results today.
This year’s calculated grades process has produced grades that are on average 4.4% higher than those of last year, according to aggregate data published by the Department of Education. 
Across Higher Level papers, the proportion of H1 grades awarded is up by 3% compared to last year, from 5.9% of the total to 8.9%.
The proportion of H1 and H2 grades awarded is up by 5%, from one in five grades (20.9%) to one in four (25.9%). 
At Ordinary Level the number of O1 and O2 grades awarded has increased by 3.5%. 
The increase in top grades awarded varies across subjects, with one of the smallest rises occurring in Higher Level English – an increase of just 1.3%. 
At the other end of the scale, 8.5% of students of Higher Level Art will receive a H1, compared to just 3.2% last year.  
Almost 30% of those who studied Higher Applied Maths will receive a H1, compared to just 16.5% last year, while almost 42% of the 48 students who studied Latin will receive a H1 compared to just 18.5% last year.  
The data shows that had national standardisation not been applied to results estimated by teachers then this year’s grade inflation would have been higher again, at about 5.3%.  
The figures show that without this moderation more than one third of all grades awarded at Higher Level would have been H1 and H2’s. That would have represented a 12% increase. 
The graphs below illustrate the overall picture, with the estimated grade arrived at by schools represented in blue.
The yellow line represents the final calculated grade, after national standardisation.  
Higher Level – all subjects
Ordinary Level – all subjects
A Department of Education official described the overall outcome of national moderation as “splitting the difference” between the pattern of previous years, and the much higher grades estimated by schools.
Earlier this week the Government approved the dropping of plans to use schools’ previous Leaving Certificate performance in the national standardisation process.
This has been a primary factor in driving up this year’s results.  
Commenting on the final results, the Department of Education has said that had schools’ historic performance been used then 60% of the Higher Level grades estimated by would have had to have been reduced, and 25% of Ordinary Level grades.
In the end just under 17% of school supplied grades were reduced.  
The Department of Education says the data shows “strong evidence of overestimation of estimated marks …. more pronounced at upper level” by teachers and schools.
It says this is “reflective of a natural tendency of teachers to over-estimate their students’ scores”. 
Gender gap slightly wider than previous years
Every year females outperform males in the Leaving Certificate exams.  
While the Calculated Grades process did not contain any specific mechanism to maintain this differential, the final outcome shows female students once again receiving results that are higher as a whole than those awarded to males.
This year’s gender gap is slightly wider than in previous years.  
Gap between DEIS and non-DEIS schools narrows
There was concern that students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be further disadvantaged by the Calculated Grades process.
However the Department of Education says the data shows that this has not occurred.
It says that the gap between results from non-DEIS schools and DEIS schools is narrower than in previous years.  
The results are available to students online from 9am this morning.