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Teachers dispute - just what are teachers striking about?

Over 350,000 students had no school today due to a teachers strike but what is the dispute about?

How many teachers are on strike today?

Over 27,000 teachers walked off their jobs at secondary schools.

What is the strike about?

The teachers object to several elements of the proposed new Junior Cycle.

In particular they are concerned about self-assessment of students by teachers which they say is unfair for everyone. They say that education standards must be maintained.

Why are the changes being introduced?

The Department of Education said the changes are needed to end the reliance on traditional June exams for Junior Cert students. The changes are designed to introduce a system of continuous assessment in the classroom.

Who is involved?

Union members of The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) and Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) are united in their objection to the proposals introduced by former Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn. The new Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan has met with teacher unions several times but has so far failed to resolve the impasse.

What offer has been made by the Government?

 Minister O’Sullivan said that she has moved from a position where teachers were asked to assess students for 100pc of their marks to 40pc, while also retaining the State certificate. 

What happens next?

Unions will meet again in mid-December to decide if a further one-day action is required again in January. No date has been decided at this stage.