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Parents & Students support Minister's proposals for Junior Cert

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 12/11/2014. Parents & Students support Minister's proposals for Junior CertTags: Education And Politics Teachers Parenting

The National Parents' Council post-primary (NPCpp) and the Irish Second-level Students’ Union(ISSU) have issued a joint statement in support of the Minister's latest proposals on the proposed Junior Cert Reform.

It was reported yesterday that the second level teachers unions had rejected a compromise on Junior Cert reform put forward by Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan. One of the main objections by the unions to the original proposals was the plan to replace th traditional June exam with teachers assessing their own students. Under the new compromise proposals, the State exam would be retained for 60pc of the marks, while teachers would be responsible for the other 40pc. The new proposals would also see the retention of the State Certificate, rather than replacing it with a school-based award to which the teacher unions were opposed.

However, these compromise proposals don't go far enough for the teacher's unions who continue to maintain that exernal assessment is required in order to maintain national education standards and that in this context teachers should not be expected to mark their own students' work.

The NPCpp and ISSU are supporting the new proposals and in their joint statement this morning said, “It is our joint view that the framework for junior cycle reform put forward by the Minister for Education and Skills provides a very sound basis for finally breaking the impasse that has staggered this process.  We would respectfully ask the teaching unions to return to talks – this package is good for students, good for parents and good for education.  We believe it should be given a chance”.

However, speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland this morning, the President of the Teachers' Union of Ireland, Gerry Quinn, when asked about industrial action over the changes, responded that teachers had “exhausted all avenues”.
“We currently have a level of industrial action that is invisible to the public, but we’re not quite where we want to be. “There could be more [than a one day strike]. On the balance of probability, if the minister does not intervene, then you could see strike action. “We will do that only as a last resort.” He added that a day-long strike could be seen before the end of the month.


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