The Department of Education has said it will be appealing the findings of the Equality Tribunal, which has ordered it to pay €12,000 to two students who were discriminated against in their Leaving Certificates.

The two, who have dyslexia, brought a claim of discrimination to the tribunal.

The case centred on explanatory footnotes that were added to their exam certificates.

The department said it would appeal the case to the circuit court 'to get clarity'. A spokesperson said the finding appeared to be far reaching.

It could affect more than 5,000 Leaving Certificate candidates in any given year.

The certificate issued to candidates who have succeeded in the exam normally details results only.

But in the case of these two students there was a lengthy footnote.

It explained that the two had been assessed on all parts of the exams except spelling, punctuation and some other grammatical elements.

The complainants argued that this revealed their disability to all who would view their results, such as future employers.

The Department of Education argued that the footnote was a necessary balance to protect the integrity of the exam.

But the Equality Tribunal rejected this.

It ordered the department to pay €6,000 to each of the complainants and to issue them with new Leaving Certificates.

It has also been ordered to review systems for dealing with exam candidates who have disabilities.