How will vocational courses be graded this year?

For CCEA’s Occupational Studies, Entry Level and Vocationally Related qualifications there will be no formal assessment in 2021. Instead, teachers will be asked to use their professional judgement and the evidence available to them in order to reach a Centre Determined Grade.

My child is in year 11, will their grades count towards year 12?

Unfortunately, if your child is Year 11 or below and they wanted to ‘cash-in’ GCSE qualifications this summer, they will not be awarded any GCSE qualifications in 2021. However, there are two exceptions to this:

  1. Those taking GCSE Maths who plan to progress to GCSE Further Maths in Year 12 will be awarded grades; and,
  2. Grades will be awarded to GCSE Irish students who may progress to GCSE Gaelige or require it for progression to other courses delivered in Irish. 

Can my child appeal a grade if they are unhappy?

Yes. Your child will have a right of appeal to their school or college around the centre determined grade. Challenges relating to the processes and whether they were followed or implemented correctly or consistently and in line with guidance will be processed by CCEA.

For further advice and guidance you can contact CLC on 08088085678 or at

What will the school consider when deciding my child’s grades?

Your child’s school will be asked to use a range of evidence to arrive at a judgement that reflects the standard at which they have been performing throughout the year.

Schools can also use evidence from the current period of remote learning, as well as when they return to school, if they are able to do so during this academic year. Teachers will be able to draw on any evidence generated that relates to any part of the specification for each of your child’s subjects.

How will my child’s grades be determined this year?

This year there will be no statistical standardisation using an algorithm. Instead, there will be a direct link between the grade awarded to your child and their completed work, with more weight given to the professional judgement of their teachers. However, there will also be moderation of centre assessments and grades provided by the school to ensure the decision has been arrived at fairly.

The Education Minister has stated that equity and fairness are at the core of the approach which has been developed. Throughout June 2021, CCEA will carry out an external quality assurance process looking at the grades submitted by all schools and colleges and reviewing samples of work to make sure the grades submitted accurately reflect the outcomes provided.