Teacher allegedly spotted marking Leaving Cert papers on the Dart
A probe is under way today after a teacher was allegedly seen correcting a Leaving Certificate exam paper at a Dart station and on a train in Dublin.
Officials from the State Examinations Commission have launched an inquiry after the teacher was reported to be working on the paper in which the student's exam number and answers were clearly visible to other people sitting or standing in her vicinity.
The incident occurred during rush hour at the busy Pearse Street station on Tuesday.
A woman who spotted the teacher said she didn't seem fazed by the fact that she was in a public place.
She also said the woman sitting next to the teacher on the train had full view of the exam paper.
The witness said that apart from the fact that the paper was in view of other people, concerns must also be raised about the potential for the teacher to lose an exam paper or have one fall out of her bag.
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) forbids people who correct exam papers to do so in public.
The SEC confirmed that it is currently investigating a report of a possible breach of protocol for the marking of examination material.
Each year, the SEC recruits some 4,000 examiners to mark the written scripts submitted by candidates.
"They are primarily recruited from a pool of experienced serving and retired teachers. The main criterion for suitability is the capacity to mark examinations work with maximum accuracy and efficiency," the SEC spokesman said.
"Examiners receive detailed training and instruction in order to fulfil their role, in correcting exams," he added.
"All examiners are required to uphold the fundamental principles regarding the marking process which include the safeguarding of candidate confidentiality."
If any action or omission on the part of an examiner compromises candidate confidentiality, or any of the other fundamental principles, this is regarded as a serious breach of duty and could result in termination of an appointment without recompense or non-reappointment in a future year," the spokesman said.
"The Commission takes most seriously any reports of an examiner acting in dereliction of their duty and will follow up on any reports received," he concluded.