Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 17 February, 2004

Written Answers - State Examinations.

  272. Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Science if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the State Examinations Commission informed schools in September 2003 that the junior certificate examination fee would be €80; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that in December 2003 the commission informed schools that the fee had been increased to €86 and that this announcement was made after the initially requested sum had been collected from many schools and this obliged schools to contact parents looking for an extra €6; if his attention has further been drawn to the administrative burden this will put on schools and the added cost to families, especially those living in disadvantaged areas. [4518/04]

  Mr. N. Dempsey: In November 2003 I announced an increase of €10 in the standard leaving certificate fee (€76 to €86). This represented an increase of 13%, and similar increases were then applied to other examination fees. The new amounts were formally notified to schools in December 2003 by the State Examinations Commission. Any information given by schools to parents prior to this was not based on a formal notification from the State Examinations Commission. It is regrettable that this may cause parents and schools some inconvenience.

Examination entry fees are in existence to defray in part the costs of running the certificate examinations. Examination entry fees cover only part of the costs involved. 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 examination fees. Medical cards will be accepted only if valid on 1 February 2004, the due date for payment.