Second level teachers today protested outside school gates around the country to highlight their concerns over proposed changes to the Junior Cycle programme. The protest was organised by second level unions ASTI and TUI, which represent 27,000 teachers.

Second level teachers today protested outside school gates around the country to highlight their concerns over proposed changes to the Junior Cycle programme. The protest was organised by second level unions ASTI and TUI, which represent 27,000 teachers.

Both unions are balloting members to secure a mandate for non-cooperation with the implementation of the new programme.

Speaking today, TUI President Gerard Craughwell said: ‘A recent OECD report shows that out of 34 countries surveyed, Ireland enjoys the highest level of public satisfaction with the education system and schools. We believe that such clear public trust will be put at risk with the planned discontinuation of external assessment and removal of external moderation at Junior Cycle level. There remains an unacceptable lack of concrete information about how the new programme will work in practice and how it will be resourced. With less the six months before implementation is scheduled to begin, this is nowhere near good enough. Change for which adequate preparation has not been made can cause lasting damage to the education system and the educational experience of students.’

Speaking today, ASTI President Sally Maguire said: ‘We have taken every opportunity to make our concerns known to the Minister. We have made it clear that teachers want a fair, transparent, objective and equitable exams process for Junior Cycle students. Anything less has the potential to seriously undermine education standards and to exacerbate inequalities between students and schools. We cannot take this risk with our young people.’


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Paula Geraghty

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