The State Examinations Commission has today made an urgent appeal for examiners to mark the 2019 Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations.

The SEC is looking for qualified applicants to correct Leaving Certificate papers in 7 subjects: Business, English, Geography, French, German, Home Economics, and Spanish.

It also needs to recruit teachers to correct Junior Cycle examinations in 10 subjects: CSPE, Irish, Geography, German, History, Home Economics, Mathematics, Religious Education, Science and Spanish.

The examinations Commission has struggled for the past number of years to recruit examiners. Teachers say low pay for correcting papers makes the work unattractive.

The second level teachers trade unions have lodged a claim for a 30% pay rise for the work. 

The SEC is also inviting applications in all other subject areas to provide cover for what it says is the inevitable drop outs that will occur in the run up to, and during, the examining period.

In a statement CEO Aidan Farrell said; "We need the help and support of teachers and other qualified applicants and would actively encourage them to apply at this time. With the co-operation and active engagement of all those interested in the smooth operation of the Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate examinations, we can ensure that the marking of this year’s examinations will proceed on target and to the necessarily-high standards".

Mr Farrell said similar appeals in previous years had been responded to "generously" and he had every confidence that this would again be the case. 

The SEC appoints around 3,600 examiners annually to mark the Leaving and Junior Certificate written examinations. This number includes those marking papers, along with more experienced examiners whose primary role is to quality-assure the process. 

The State Examinations Commission said applicants should note that payment rates had increased by 2% this year and also that a Pension Related Deduction, which was previously deducted at a rate of 10.5%, no longer applies.