Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (340)

Shane Ross


340. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Minister for Education and Skills if anyone will be held accountable for the errors in the leaving certificate higher level mathematics paper 2 taken on 10 June 2013; how students will be compensated for the errors in the paper; if students will be given an opportunity to sit an accurate replacement examination in order to ensure their futures are not compromised by mistakes made by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32023/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The State Examinations Commission was established as an independent agency in 2003 to deal with all operational issues relating to State Examinations. The SEC acknowledges that these errors may have caused confusion and distress for some candidates and has apologised publicly. The SEC has expressed its regret for these errors.

When errors occur, the SEC must focus on two issues. As a priority, it seeks to ensure that no candidate is disadvantaged as a result of an error that has occurred. Therefore, the impact of these errors on students' answers will be taken into account by the Chief Examiner when finalising the marking schemes for these exams. The marking schemes will, as usual, be published along with those in all other subjects after the issue of results, in mid-August in the case of the Leaving Certificate and mid-September for Junior Certificate. Leaving Certificate students can view their marked examinations scripts to see how the published marking scheme has been applied to their work, while all students have the option of appealing their results. Then, in the context of the specific error, the SEC reviews its existing processes and procedures in order to implement measures to strengthen the quality assurance underpinning the preparation of examination papers.

I have asked the SEC to report to me on this issue.