Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (22, 25)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

22. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an update on the report he has ordered the State Examinations Commission to make into the typographical errors and mistakes that were made on leaving certificate papers; and if he will provide details of the way answers to these questions will be assessed in view of these mistakes. [32211/13]

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Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

25. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will examine the circumstances of the mistakes that were reported in the leaving certificate maths papers; if his Department has carried out an investigation into what happened; if he has taken steps to ensure that the issue does not arise again; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32016/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22 and 25 together.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. Although the SEC has in place a range of procedures to enhance reliability and to minimise error, it is an unfortunate fact that errors can occur on examination papers from time to time. On occasion, errors are not detected in advance and come to light during or after the sitting of the examination. In the context of any identified error, the SEC, as a matter of course, 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. I expect to receive their report in August.

Questions Nos. 23 and 24 answered with Question No. 9.
Question No. 25 answered with Question No. 22.