Tuesday 23 January 2018

Teachers' unions to ballot members on new Junior Cycle proposals

Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan
Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The second-level teacher unions, the ASTI and the TUI, are to ballot their members on the new Junior Cycle proposals.

The decisions were taken at  separate meetings of the union executive bodies today, but  the ballots won’t happen until the Autumn.

It follows a new watered-down package of reforms agreed between Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan and union leaders earlier this week.

Teacher unions won their battle over not assessing their own students for a State examination, as was originally proposed.

Read more here: Teachers agree to mark classroom work but not for Junior Cert grade

They have agreed to assess their own students in new ways  - once in second year and again in third year – but the results will only be reported to parents.

However, when full details of the proposals were released today, it emerged that students themselves will write their own reports on classroom-based assessment for the State Examinations Commission(SEC).

The students will outline  what they learned through the classroom-based assessment – for instance, an oral presentation or a project -  and  will be marked on their report  as part of the exam process.

As well as the classroom-based assessment, and the student’s own report on them, the students will also sit exams in June, although they will be shorter overall than the current exams.

Current first year students will be the first to experience any change, when they do their first classroom-based assessment on English next year.

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