Sunday 25 June 2017

ASTI clears way for 35,000 third-year students to sit a crucial assessment in English next month

ASTI President Ed Byrne: Picture: Arthur Carron
ASTI President Ed Byrne: Picture: Arthur Carron
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The ASTI has cleared the way for about 35,000 third-year students to sit a crucial assessment in English next month.

The 80-minute written assessment is worth 10pc marks in the written exam for the new-style-Junior Cert English.

Students in about 400 schools where the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) represents teachers have not yet done the school-based,  assessment because of the union’s resistance to  junior cycle reform.

However, exam chiefs found a way around the obstacle to students doing the written assessment, which the ASTI’s governing body, its 23-member Standing Committee accepted at a meeting today.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) announced earlier this week  that it was dropping the requirement for students to have completed a separate, but linked, classroom-based assessment with their teachers, before sitting the written, Assessment Task.

The absence of the requirement for teachers to have first completed their classroom-based assessment with students before they sit what is known as the Assessment Task forced a rethink within the ASTI.

In a statement after today’s meeting, the Standing Committee said ASTI members will be advised to co-operate with the new guidelines issued from the SEC.

But while the estimated 35,000 students who have not yet done the written assessment, will now be eligible for up to 100pc of marks in the written part of English exam,  they will not be awarded a separate descriptor by their teachers, for a classroom-based assessment.

ASTI opposition to junior cycle reforms is based on its view that teachers should not be involved in grading their own students for any State certificate.

ASTI President Ed Byrne said they welcomed the new arrangements.  He said ASTI principle on independent assessment was upheld.

While immediate concerns about the Assessment Task have been allayed, the dispute between the ASTI and Department  of Education on the reforms continues.

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