Written Answers. - Leaving Certificate Examination.

Cecilia Keaveney

Question:

887 Cecilia Keaveney asked the Minister for Education and Science the percentage of students who undertake a transition year; the percentage of pupils who repeat the leaving certificate; and if he will make a statement on the cost involved in eliminating the £100 repeat leaving fee and including the repeat leaving certificate year as part of the six year school cycle. [28437/98]

During the current school year, 38 per cent of the relevant pupil cohort is undertaking a transition year. 5,483 pupils are repeating year two of a leaving certificate programme, which represents 9 per cent approximaely of the relevant 1997-98 cohort.

The standard maximum period at senior cycle is three years comprising transition year, leaving certificate year one and year two. However, in the case of schools not providing the transition year programme, the standard maximum period at senior cycle is two years. The circumstances in which an individual pupil may repeat a year at second level and the procedures to be followed are also outlined in M2/95.

Pupils who have sat the leaving certificate examination may be enrolled as recognised pupils to repeat leaving certificate year 2 on payment of the £100 course fee. Pupils whose parents or guardians are the holders of a current medical card or who hold a medical card in their own right are exempt from the payment of this fee. When account is taken of the number of pupils thus exempted, the cost of eliminating the fee for the current year would be £353,600.