When you hook up your iPad, it should automatically open iPhoto, and iPhoto should then "interrogate" your device to see if there are any new photos that need to be imported.
Is iPhoto not automatically launching when you hook up your iPad? If not, you may have your setting set up to do so. Hook up the iPad, and manually launch iPhoto with the iPad hooked up. See if that triggers the import.
Also, do you have Photo Stream turned on? If you do, and you have iCloud on your Mac, then your iPhoto library should have a Photo Stream Event listed. You can simply create an album and move all or selected photos from the Photo Stream into that Album.
Post back with any questions,
I carried out the backup and sync but cant see the pics in the iphoto after I carried out the transfer. Am I doing something silly???
To transfer photos to iPhoto, you do not need backup and sync (but backup was a very good thing to do if the iPad is failing, this way you will be able to restore it, when you get a new one ) - connect your iPad by USB like this, to download the contents of the Camera Roll:
If iPhoto is not launching, when your iPad is connected, check the settings in ImageCapture for
"When a camera is connected, open" ?
See this support article:
Set: "When a camera is connected, open" to an application of your choice; for example i"Photo" or "Image Capture".
Then this should work: