Students given second chance to do crucial assessment - if their teachers agree new deal
Junior Cycle students at risk of missing out on 10pc of the marks in the English exam this year will be given a second chance to do a crucial assessment, if their teachers agree a new deal with Government.
Leaders of the Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) are meeting today to consider proposals aimed at bringing about settlement in a series of disputes in which they are involved.
One of the issues is reform of junior cycle, with which the ASTI is not co-operating, although the other second-level teachers’ union, the TUI, is working the changes.
The most immediate concern is the fate of third-year students, whose teachers are in the ASTI, who are being denied an opportunity to complete a new-style Assessment Task.
This involves reflecting on written work they have done in the past two years and students whose teachers are in the TUI are doing it next week.
While the Assessment Task is carried out in school, the work will be marked by the State Examinations Commission and it is worth up to 10pc of total marks in English.
The other 90pc will be awarded for the traditional, though shortened, written exam in June
Education Minister Richard Bruton has been under pressure to ensure that pupils of ASTI members are not discriminated against when it comes to the 10pc, but has given no commitment on the issue.
However, the proposals that have emerged from three week negotiations with the ASTI state that, if the deal is accepted, arrangements will be made to ensure all students can complete the Assessment Task in the current school year.
The documents also deal with a range of issues around terms and conditions arising from the ASTI’s rejection of the Lansdowne Road Agreement (LRA) - disputes over which closed hundreds of schools in recent weeks - but bring no cost-increase implications for Government.
A new opportunity for teachers to opt in, or opt out, of supervision and substitution duties on a permanent basis, is offered, but otherwise the proposals amount to a repackaging of what has already been accepted by other teacher unions.