As Leaving Cert starts, exam correctors ‘urgently’ needed

Authorities issue appeal to working, retired and newly qualified teachers

Who will be marking the State exams? urgent appeal issued for markers

Who will be marking the State exams? urgent appeal issued for markers


Less than a week before the Leaving and Junior Cert, an urgent appeal has been issued to hire teachers to correct the exams.

An advertisement on the State Examinations Commission (SEC) website says it urgently needs teachers, including those who are retired and recently qualified, to mark the 2017 exams.

Education and Training Board Ireland, an umbrella body for the boards that run secondary schools, also posted the appeal on its website on Wednesday, saying the positions were open to all serving and retired teachers , “irrespective of experience”, and to those who have just recently completed their teacher training.

The SEC says it will be appointing examiners “right up to the start of the marking conferences in June and occasionally afterwards, in order to fill vacancies and in response to examiners dropping out for a variety of reasons”.

It goes on to say the number of available reserve examiners “is currently very tight in all subjects”.

“The SEC is now calling for teachers, including recently qualified teachers and retired teachers, to apply for the position of examiner in all subjects for the 2017 Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate”, it adds.

It says the subjects where there is a particular need are:

- Leaving and Junior Certificate Spanish

- Leaving and Junior Certificate German

- Leaving Certificate Business

- Leaving and Junior Certificate Irish

- Leaving and Junior Certificate Italian

- Leaving and Junior Certificate Home Economics

- Junior Certificate Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE)

- Junior Certificate Religious Education

- Leaving Certificate Ordinary Level Mathematics

In the case of the Leaving Cert subjects, the SEC says the deficit of examiners is in the “small single figures”.

Similarly, in the case of the Junior Cert, it says the numbers needed across all subjects are in low single figures, other than CSPE and religious education, which have a shortage of 48 and 23 examiners, respectively.

While it has described the appeal as “urgent”, the SEC said in recent years it has run recruitment campaigns “right up to the start of the marking process and has always secured the co-operation of teachers, including newly qualified teachers and retired teachers, in filling any vacancies and meeting the needs arising from drop-outs”.

A spokesman for the commission said it had every confidence this will be the same this year.

“It is important to note that this latest appeal is not meant to be alarming but to reflect the fact that the number of applications received from teachers to engage in the work of marking examinations is less than we would like to have, particularly in the listed subjects,” he said.

Those applying for the positions must hold a third level degree or equivalent, have recent teaching experience in the relevant subject area or related subject, have good organisational and analytical skills, be able to work to a fixed time-scale, be available to work full-time for the duration of the marking and be resident in the Republic of Ireland during the marking period.

Thousands of Leaving and Junior Certificate students begin their State examinations next Wednesday, June 7th.

Teaching bodies say the shortage of examiners is linked to a range of factors such as a lack of teachers in key subject areas, along with relatively low pay rates and heavy workload.

School management bodies have complained that they cannot find qualified teaching staff in jey areas such as Irish, home economics, European languages and maths.

Some teachers have also complained about pay rates for marking exam papers - which vary depending on the subject and level  - as well the volume of work required.

Each year, the SEC hires about 4,500 teachers to mark written exam material in their homes.

Examiners are required to attend a marking conference in June and to be available for 26 days to mark scripts at home during June and July.