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Leaving Cert: ASTI agrees to engage with calculated grades process after indemnity row resolved


Kieran Christie, general secretary of ASTI

Kieran Christie, general secretary of ASTI

Kieran Christie, general secretary of ASTI

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) has agreed to engage with the Leaving Cert calculated grades process after getting further clarification on the State indemnity.

It clears the way for its members to start the process of providing estimated marks for their students, as an alternative to sitting written exams.

It will bring relief for up to 61,000 Leaving Cert candidates who are depending on calculated grades to move on with their lives, including the thousands who will use them as a basic for college entry in the autumn.

The ASTI caused shock last night when it announced the State indemnity being offered to its members to protect them against a legal action from disgruntled students fell short of what was required.

The State indemnity is the same as for other public servants, including judges, but ASTI general secretary Kieran Christie said the union was concerned that teachers could be liable for up to one third of their costs.

Contacts between the union, the Department of Education and legal advisers continued last night and today, and this afternoon, the ASTI said it secured ‘full indemnity’.

The union added it had “secured the necessary clear assurances and clarifications that allow for teachers to proceed with this work without fear of negative financial consequences.

“Crucially, the Department of Education and Skills has given an undertaking that in all cases where the indemnity applies, the Chief State Solicitor’s Office will take over the running of the litigation.

“This strengthening of the indemnity will ensure that a teacher will not have to employ her/ his own legal team to defend herself/ himself and run the risk of incurring large irrecoverable costs and expenses."

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