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ASTI withdraws from discussions on Leaving Cert 2021

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 11/02/2021. ASTI withdraws from discussions on Leaving Cert 2021Tags: Parenting Teachers

The ASTI has announced it is withdrawing from discussions on the Leaving Cert 2021 pending a guarantee that the talks will focus on the Minister’s stated objectives of planning for examinations and scoping out a corresponding measure.

ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie said it is unacceptable that a plan is being developed which will effectively see students preparing for two versions of a Leaving Cert, with Calculated Grades being the dominant option, and the Leaving Cert exams filling in assessment gaps.

“We entered a process in good faith to explore the position whereby if the Leaving Certificate or elements of it do not go ahead, a fair and credible choice or option would be available to students,” said Mr Christie.

“It is clear to us that the approach being developed would not provide the meaningful Leaving Certificate experience this cohort of students deserve.

“The process is being developed in a manner that would see the Leaving Certificate relegated to a secondary position with Calculated Grades the premier option. The lack of data this year would make the delivery of a credible Calculated Grades process extremely challenging.

“Given the widely accepted additional stress that students are currently experiencing, it is extraordinary that the only option being explored is that they would effectively prepare for two versions of a Leaving Certificate rather than one.

“We are calling for the Minister to re-establish the focus of the talks so that a meaningful Leaving Certificate experience is provided to this cohort of students, which they rightly deserve.”

The ASTI will continue to engage constructively with the re-opening of schools process.



(11/02/2021 20:03)

ISSU Statement on the Withdrawal of ASTI from Bilateral Talks

The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU) is shocked and disappointed by the recent announcement of the ASTI that they have withdrawn from talks on the 2021 Leaving Cert.

This is a time when students need cooperation between all stakeholders. Students have been through a horrendous year and now may face an uphill battle in the months ahead - we need to show them compassion, we need to provide clarity, and the ISSU position remains that students deserve a choice.

Choice, Clarity, Compassion

This statement has caused stress, anxiety and worry to skyrocket amongst students. It is adding fear into an already high pressure situation, and the delivery of clarity for students has been further pushed out due to this breakdown in talks.

Over the past number of weeks, the ISSU has repeatedly asked to meet with the ASTI, among other stakeholders, to meet bilaterally. As of this statement, the ASTI has still not accepted this invitation. We will continue to seek a meeting with the ASTI following this announcement and wish to continue to engage with the process in order to deliver for students, teachers and all in the school community.

The ISSU continues to bring pragmatic solutions to the table that seek to address the concerns of the ASTI - as a stakeholder they have an equal responsibility to work together with the other stakeholders to find a solution.

As the representative voice for students, the ISSU wishes to stress that it is students that will be most affected by the decisions being made by the Department and its Advisory Group members. We need to do right by them, and show empathy.

The ISSU is committed to representing student voice in these extraordinary times and will deliver for the class of 2021.

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