Know your rights: Appealing your Leaving Certificate results

Question

If I think my Leaving Certificate papers have not been marked correctly, can I have the marks rechecked?

Answer

Yes, if you are not satisfied with the marks in one or more of your Leaving Certificate exams, you can appeal them to the State Examinations Commission (SEC). Before you make the decision to appeal a result, you can view your exam paper. The SEC will send your school personalised application forms for you to view your exam papers and to appeal your results. (For external candidates, these forms are enclosed with your examination results.)

Viewing: If you decide you would like to view a particular paper, you mark the form accordingly. There is no charge for viewing your papers. You must return the completed form to the school where you sat the examination by 19 August 2014. The Organising Superintendent appointed by the SEC will assign you to one of the viewing sessions. These will take place on 29 and 30 August 2014 in your school or examination centre.

Appealing: If you decide to appeal your results, you indicate the subjects you wish to appeal on the appeal application form and you pay the appeal fee. Your application to appeal your 2014 results must be received by 3 September 2014.

Your paper will be re-marked by an appeal examiner, who will be different from the examiner who originally marked your work. The same marking scheme is used for re-marking. Your result may be upgraded, left the same or downgraded as a result of an appeal.

There is further information about the appeal process on the website of the State Examinations Commission, examinations.ie.

If you are not happy with the outcome of your appeal, you may request a review by the Independent Appeals Scrutineers. Application forms for an appeal review are provided with your appeal results.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Know your rights: Cycle to work scheme

Question

In 2009, I bought a bike under the Cycle to Work tax scheme but it was stolen last week. Can I use the scheme again when I buy a replacement bike?

Answer

The Cycle to Work Scheme is a tax incentive scheme which aims to encourage employees to cycle to and from work. Under the scheme employers can pay up to €1,000 for a bicycle and bicycle equipment for each of their employees. The repayment for the bicycle and equipment is then deducted from your gross salary (this means before income tax, PRSI, pension levies or Universal Social Charge are deducted) over a period of up to 12 months.

You can only avail of the scheme once in a five-year period. So if you got your bike in December 2009 and were granted the tax relief in 2009, you can claim it again if you want to buy another bike in 2014 or later.

You must use the bicycle and safety equipment mainly for qualifying journeys. This means the whole or part (for example between home and train station) of a journey between your home and your normal place of work.

If you buy a replacement bike in 2014 you cannot get another bike under the Cycle to Work Scheme until 2018. If you are concerned about another theft you could insure your new bike under your household insurance policy or you could use a special cycle insurance scheme.

There is a list of frequently asked questions about the scheme on revenue.ie.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Penalty point increases

Increases in certain penalty point offences took effect from 1 August 2014.  From 1 August penalty points for speeding, holding a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seat belt or not using child restraints increased from two points to three, if the fixed charge is paid within the stipulated period. If you do not pay the fixed charge and are subsequently convicted in Court, the points will increase from four to five.

Read more in our document on penalty points.

 

Novice plates for newly-qualified drivers

New rules come into force from 1 August 2014. If you get your first driving licence on or after 1 August 2014, you must display N-plates on your vehicle when driving. You must display the N-plates for 2 years. Motorcycle riders must wear an N-tabard. This novice period only applies once. It does not apply to a first driving licence obtained for a different category of vehicle after the original 2-year period ends.

 

You can get more information from the Road Safety Authority website.

Public consultation on water charges

The Commission for Energy Regulation has published its proposals for domestic water charges. The Water Charges Plan is open for public consultation until 28 August 2014. The Commission will issue its final decision on water charges in September, after reviewing the submissions made during the consultation.

The proposals are based on consumption of 66,000 litres per year for a one-person household, with an additional 21,000 litres per year for each extra person. The proposals include:

  • A free allowance of 30,000 litres per household, with an extra free allowance of 21,000 litres per child
  • A rate of €4.88 per 1,000 litres for households that use both water services and wastewater services (€2.44 per 1,000 litres if you only use one service)
  • A typical annual bill of €279 for a household with 2 adults, 2 children, when allowances have been taken into account

Read more about water charges. 

 


Today is World Day against Trafficking

It is estimated that 2.5 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery. Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Today, 30 July 2014 is the first World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The day aims to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and to promote and protect their rights.

Read more about human trafficking and how to report it on the blueblindford.gov.ie website.

 

Deadline for student grant applications

The national student grant awarding body, SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland), is urging students who have not yet submitted their applications for student grant funding for the 2014/2015 academic year to do so as soon as possible. The deadline for applications is Friday 1 August.

Apply online for a student grant for the 2014-2015 academic year. (You need your Personal Public Service Number (PPS Number) and an email address and phone number to apply online.)

Read about student grants on citizensinformation.ie.