Dáil Éireann - Volume 435 - 09 November, 1993

Ceisteanna — Questions Written Answers. - Leaving Certificate Re-Check Policy.

106. Mr. M. McDowell asked the Minister for Education whether it is her Department's policy to distinguish between the rights of pupils in State-recognised schools and extern students, in relation to entitlements to have Leaving Certificate examination marks checked; the reason recognised school pupils are prevented from having their marks checked without the permission of the school authorities, while extern students do not require any permission; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): I can confirm that my Department's policy is that where a candidate is entered for examination by a school, it is a matter for the school to apply to my Department for a re-check of the candidate's results. Applications for rechecks [1269] in respect of school candidates are not accepted from parents, candidates or individual teachers. Before applying for a re-check in the case of any subject the school authorities must be satisfied, and must certify, that the result in question is substantially at variance with the ability of the candidate, having regard to the performance of the candidate in the examination.

The position in regard to external candidates is very different. They are not entered for examination by schools but enter personally for the examination. Since they enter personally for the examination they may also apply personally for a re-check of their examination results.

External candidates are students outside of the normal recognised post-primary system or those who are pursuing their studies privately. A pupil who is still attending a recognised post-primary school is not eligible for admission as an external candidate.

The vast majority of applications for re-checks are in respect of school candidates. The present procedures are designed to ensure that, in general, appeal examiners will have to deal with applications which have some reasonable basis. They also have the effect of miniminising the number of applications received and enabling the appeal examiners to complete their work within a reasonable time.

I am satisfied that the present system meets the needs of candidates and that the role of schools' authorities in the system is entirely appropriate.