Saturday 29 April 2017

New talks planned over controversial Junior Cert reform

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

NEW talks are planned in a bid to reach agreement over Junior Certificate reform, although there is no expectation of an early breakthrough in the row over teachers assessing their own students.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn is inviting the two-second-level teacher unions to meet him, after the leaving and junior certificate exams are over.

The timing of the meeting has been deliberately fixed to avoid any associated controversy during the annual State exams, which start next Wednesday.

If Mr Qoinn loses out in the expected Cabinet reshuffle in July, this would represent a final opportunity to advance his plans for the new school-based Junior Cycle Student Award.

The minister signalled that the invitation would be going out, as a Working Group set up in January to address a range of issues associated with the introduction of the new-style Junior Cycle, produced its report.

He said that notwithstanding the fact that both unions had voted in favour of industrial action on the matter, he welcomed that “they say they are not against educational reform or Junior Cycle reform”.

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