Full text of Leaving Cert statement

Wed, Jun 3, 2009, 01:00

The following is the full text of a statement issued by the State Examinations Commission tonight announcing the decision to postpone Paper II of the Leaving Certificate exam in English.

"Late this afternoon the State Examinations Commission (SEC) was made aware that the Leaving Certificate English Paper 2, Higher and Ordinary Level, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning, was distributed in error to candidates in one of our examination centres.

This was given to candidates instead of the Leaving Certificate English Paper 1 which was scheduled for examination this morning. The error was noticed quickly, the question paper was retrieved and the correct paper distributed to the candidates.

However this error allowed time for some of those candidates to become aware of significant key elements of the contents of the Leaving Certificate English Paper 2 and therefore the SEC has decided, in fairness to all candidates taking this subject and in order to protect the integrity of the examination process to defer tomorrow’s Leaving Certificate English Paper 2, Higher and Ordinary Level.

The SEC has detailed contingency arrangements in place to cope with unforeseen circumstances (including the preparation of alternative papers).

The compromised papers have been replaced and the Leaving Certificate English Paper 2 examinations will now take place on Saturday 6th June 2009 from 9.30am to 12.50pm.

This decision was taken following contact with the Education Partners and the SEC is very grateful for their assistance and support in this regard. This is the earliest opportunity that the papers could be re-scheduled because of the significant logistical difficulties in getting alternative papers to over 2,000 examination centres in about 800 schools and examination halls nationwide.

"The Department of Education and Science is making arrangements with Bus Éireann to ensure the provision of the regular week day post primary school transport service on Saturday.

The candidate is at the centre of our considerations and we are doing all that is possible to minimise stress and concerns for them and their families at this time.

While the SEC was reluctant to make any changes to the timetable, particularly given that the examinations have commenced, this is the only option open to us when the integrity of the English examination has been compromised.

The SEC wishes to stress that all of the other examinations scheduled for tomorrow are going ahead as planned."