The State Examinations Commission has decided to postpone Leaving Certificate English Paper Two, both Higher and Ordinary levels, after it emerged that students in one centre have already seen the paper.

The examination has been rescheduled to take place on Saturday morning using a contingency paper.

English Paper Two was opened by mistake at an examination centre in Co Louth this morning.

The error was immediately spotted and the papers were taken back, according to the state Examinations Commission.

It has confirmed that a number of students did see the exam paper.

In a statement, the Examinations Commission said that in ‘fairness to all candidates’ taking the subject and ‘in order to protect the integrity of the examination process’ the Leaving Certificate English Paper two, Higher and Ordinary Level, is being deferred.

It says that the compromised papers have been replaced and the Leaving Certificate English Paper two examinations will now take place on Saturday, 6 June 2009 from 9.30am to 12.50pm.

The Commission stressed that all of the other examinations scheduled for tomorrow are going ahead as planned.

Meanwhile, Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe said the decision to defer the exam was made in consultation with the education partners.

He said that the Commission's decision has, by necessity, been taken in a very restricted time frame.

He added that the Department of Education is making arrangements with Bus Éireann to ensure the provision of the regular weekday post-primary school transport service on Saturday.

A Helpline number is available for students affected by the cancellation of tomorrow's Leaving Cert English Higher and Ordinary level paper 1800 713 913 and the website is

More than 115,000 second level students began their Leaving and Junior Certificate exams this morning.

The exams began with English, Paper One, and will run until 19 June.

The students will be examined in almost 100 different subjects and more than 3m exam papers have been printed.

Changes this year include a Leaving Cert timetable tweaked for a second time to relieve the pressure complained of for years by students.

Most candidates should now get at least one half-day free between now and the weekend.

For more visit RTÉ.ie/Exams