Sunday 23 July 2017

Pupils in same school divided by union row

The row over junior cycle means that some pupils in a school are doing the new student assessments, while students in other classes in the same school are not (Stock)
The row over junior cycle means that some pupils in a school are doing the new student assessments, while students in other classes in the same school are not (Stock)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The row over junior cycle means that some pupils in a school are doing the new student assessments, while students in other classes in the same school are not.

The confusing divide is happening in community and comprehensive schools, where both the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) have members.

It all depends on what union a pupil's teacher belongs to: while TUI members are conducting new classroom-based assessments, ASTI members are not.

The body representing management in almost 100 community and comprehensive schools says "parents are asking obvious question about assessments".

The current focus is on classroom-based assessments in English for third years, two of which have to be completed by Christmas. If students don't do them, their overall mark is at risk.

Some schools did one assessment in the spring, and those that didn't are supposed to complete it before September 30, and do another one later this term. Pupils also have to do a further school assessment task later in the year.

The Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (ACCS) has issued its schools with a letter to explain to parents that not all classes can engage in the full range of ­assessments at present, ie some students will not be doing the classroom-based assessment or the assessment task.

It acknowledges that "this creates uncertainty for students and parents", adding that "it is not within the school's remit to be able to come to alternative arrangements for its students".

Irish Independent

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