THE Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) has confirmed it will ballot on possible strike action over moves to reform the Junior Certificate.
The union's executive met yesterday and announced that members would be asked to support a series of actions up to and including strike action.
The decision came as a sub-group of a working party dealing with Junior Cert reform met in the Department of Education. It was one of a series of meetings that will be held over coming months to deal with implementation of the reforms.
Key to the Junior Cert change will be the phasing out of the traditional state exam at the end of third year and replacing it with continuous assessment by teachers of their own students for the proposed new Junior Cycle Student Award (JCSA) to be awarded by schools.
Teachers are concerned about ending a system of external assessment of students and about the level of training and resources being made available to support the change. The changes are due to start next September.
Last week, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn announced a slowdown of the pace of change and offered extra resources but unions remain unimpressed.
TUI general secretary John MacGabhann described yesterday's meeting as deeply disappointing.
The other second-level union, the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI), has also decided to ballot members on possible strike action.
Neither union has yet set dates for their ballots, but they are expected to get under way next month.