Reforms to the Junior Certificate are essential for the future of Ireland's education system, but the impact of proposed changes must be carefully considered.
This is according to Pat King, general secretary of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), who wrote in the Irish Examiner that the restructuring needs to have the confidence of the public.
"It is essential that reform is carefully considered, well planned out, understood by those most affected by it and, crucially, fail-proof," he said.
Mr King added it is widely accepted that the current Junior Certificate suffers from "content overload" at the expense of reflective learning, which proposals such as limiting students to eight subjects have been introduced to remedy.
However, he warned the implementation of this from 2012 has caused concern among schools, as it remains unclear what the effects will be.
The union chief said there must be greater clarity on what the eight-subject limit will mean for the Leaving Certificate and pupils' future career prospects.
Earlier this week, ASTI criticised the use of incidental inspections, which will begin in secondary schools from this month, saying a one-day visit is not adequate for determining the quality of education an institution provides.