The Ombudsman for Children has expressed concern over the number of complaints it received in relation to a State scheme that helps students with disabilities during exams.

The Reasonable Accommodations at Certificate Examinations scheme intends to give students with special education needs, such as dyslexia, a fair advantage during State exams.

However in a new report, the Ombudsman for Children's Office says there have been recurring problems with the programme.

In 2014 and 2015, the Ombudsman received 132 complaints, but so far in 2016 it has received another 55.

Issues such as communication, fairness and oversight of the scheme were frequently brought up.

The report also found that many students who qualified for the programme for the Junior Certificate were refused for the Leaving Certificate.

It says this resulted in confusion and frustration for both students and parents.

The Ombudsman is calling on the State Examination Commission to review the scheme to ensure it meets its commitments to children with a disability in time for next year.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ombudsman Dr Niall Muldoon said 16,000 students applied for the scheme last year.

He said the problem was that students who were refused accommodation were not told why.

This means parents and children were appealing "blind" to the SEC, he said, because they did not know why the student had been refused help.

Consequently some parents were forced to spend a lot of money on private psychology reports.

Dr Muldoon said that his office has engaged with the SEC and wants the commission to review the scheme so decisions are communicated properly and fairly to families.