'Urgent appeal' as not enough teachers come forward to mark Leaving and Junior Cert exams
Not enough teachers have come forward to mark the Leaving and Junior Certificate exam papers.
With less than a week to go to the start of the State exams, there is a serious shortage of examiners.
The State Examinations Commission (SEC) says the situation is "very tight" generally, with acute problems in some subjects.
The SEC has issued an urgent appeal to teachers, including those who are newly qualified and retired to come forward to fill existing gaps and any more that may emerge.
The subjects where there are particular needs are: Irish, Spanish, German, Italian and Home Economics, at both Leaving Cert and Junior Cert levels, Business and Maths (ordinary level) at Leaving Cert, and CSPE and Religious Education at Junior Cert.
There are challenges every year in filling all examiners' positions but it has become increasingly difficult in more recent years, possibly linked to the fact that the fees for marking the papers have not increased since a cut in 2010.
The SEC says it will be appointing examiners right up to the start of the exam marking conferences in June and, if necessary, afterwards, in order to fill vacancies and in response to examiners dropping out for a variety of reasons.