Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (334)

Róisín Shortall


440 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science the justification for the 183% rise in fees when students opt to repeat their leaving certificate exam; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1382/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

Examination entry fees are in existence in order to defray in part the costs of running the certificate examinations. Examination entry fees cover only part of the costs involved. A special entry fee of €225 is payable in respect of a candidate who remains in school with a view to repeating the leaving certificate examination. This represents an increase of approximately 13% on the 2003 figure of €199. A course fee of €126.97 is also payable to my Department in respect of such candidates.

Special fees for repeat candidates were introduced in 1987 on the basis that it is not unreasonable to expect those who have already benefitted from the normal course of post-primary education, and who wish to take an extra year, to make a contribution towards the cost of providing the necessary resources.

Candidates who hold a current medical card or are dependent on a parent or guardian who is the holder of a current medical card are not liable for either examination fees or for payment of the repeat course fee. Medical cards will be accepted only if valid on 1 February 2004, the due date for payment.