Friday 20 October 2017

Secondary teachers plunge junior cycle reform into fresh chaos

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Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Secondary teachers have thrown another spanner into the works of junior cycle reform.

The latest move by the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) plunges plans for long-awaited changes to the learning experience for teenage students into a new level of chaos.

Having won the battle about not assessing their own students for a State certificate, the ASTI now says its members won’t even assess their pupils for a proposed new school certificate.

So, instead of sending parents detailed reports on how their child is doing in school, they will receive blank pages on their progress, when the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA) replaces the Junior Certificate in 2017.

A vote by delegates at the ASTI annual conference effectively blocks meaningful engagement between the union and the Department of Education on reaching agreement on the new arrangements for junior cycle.

There was strong support for a motion calling on members to refuse ot assess their own students for school certification proposed by Mark Walshe of Dublin North East branch, a member of Fightback, a group of activists.

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