What's wrong with the Junior Cycle proposals - TUI President writes in Galway Independent 26/2/14
Teacher pressure – Chalk Talk, Irish Times 25/2/14
(extract) The latest figures show almost 30 per cent of the TUI’s second level members are on part-time or casual contracts of less than full hours, and the union estimates that this percentage is much higher among teachers under 35.
The TUI is seeking sustainable teaching career paths, and general secretary John MacGabhann comments: “It was once the case that second level teachers were appointed to permanent, full-time jobs, but regrettably it has become the recent norm for young teachers to spend many years on low hours and low incomes with no guarantee of being retained from year to year. Having only fragments of jobs, many experience income poverty and regularly struggle to meet basic financial commitments.”….
TUI Education and Research Officer Bernie Judge discusses planned protest over Junior Cycle changes and teacher concerns over the new programme RTE's Morning Ireland, 24/2/14 Click here to listen
TUI advocates that with regard to education related to sensitive issues such as relationships and sexuality, students should be provided with neutral, non-biased and accurate information and guidance. TUI Education & Research Officer Bernie Judge interviewed on RTE Radio’s Drivetime programme 18/2/14 Click here to listen (from around 2.17)
Principals warn over secondary teacher shortage – Irish Daily Mail 17/2/14
Principals have expressed concern that a 15 per cent increase in secondary level student population by 2020 will lead to a shortage of teachers. The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals has called on the Department of Education to implement plans to meet the challenge of an expected 10,000 extra secondary students by 2020…..A spokesman for the Teachers’ Union of Ireland said the TUI brought out figures last week showing that 30 per cent of secondary school teachers were on less than full-time hours. The coming surge in student numbers should ensure teaching can become a job of full hours again which should provide a ‘huge opportunity to graduates.’
Teachers to vote on strike action over Junior Cert - Irish Independent 15/2/14 Click here
Teachers to be balloted for action over junior cycle reforms - Irish Examiner 15/2/14 Click here (Also covered in Irish Daily Mail and Irish Daily Star)
Teachers to vote on Junior Cycle plan in March - RTE 15/2/14
TUI Education and Research Officer Bernie Judge discusses the challenges schools and teachers face in providing sex education, including the effect of cutbacks and loss of posts – Today FM’s Last Word programme 4/2/14
TUI calls for the scrappage of a tax break that resulted in eight of Ireland's most affluent schools receiving an average of almost €50,000 in additional funding each from the State in 2012. Speaking on RTE News, TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann said that TUI’s ‘issue is with the State conferring further advantage on the school that receives those donations through the tax code, so this is an issue that has to do with advantage being conferred on advantage. ‘ 3/2/14 Click here to view video
TUI President Gerard Craughwell discusses disciplinary hearings for teachers on KFM's Kildare Today programme 28/1/14 and on Cork Today on C103FM 29/1/14
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann discusses possiblity of public disciplinary hearings for teachers - Minister and Department must fully consult with TUI - Today FM's Last Word programme 27/1/14
Holding schools and teachers to account - Irish Times letter by TUI President 27/1/14
'It is important to emphasise that teachers are already subject to multiple levels of accountability...' Click here for full text
Two out of three unions back public hearings for teachers - Irish Independent 27/1/14
(extract) John MacGabhann, general secretary of the TUI, said that his body wanted discussion on the matter with the minister and the Teaching Council about its concerns.
"We want a highly competent, well-respected teaching profession. In the few cases, where people are not fit for the profession, for whatever reason, either for reasons of serious incompetence or for reasons of serious misconduct, what we want is a system that deals with such cases, but that in dealing with them also provides fair and due process." Click here for full article
Hearings for teachers not up to the job - Sunday Times front page 26/1/14
...The Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) has reacted with alarm to the proposal, and wants 'serious consultation' with Quinn before the plan is finalised in legislation...John MacGabhann, general secretary of the TUI said it would be 'extremely unfair' if teachers were brought before a public hearing except in serious cases. 'We want this proposal to be the subject of serious discussions between teachers, the Teaching Council and Minister Quinn,' he said.
Unions insist on external assessment of Junior Cycle - Irish Examiner 25/1/14 Click here
Teachers to ballot for strike action over Junior Cert - Irish Independent 25/1/14 Click here
TUI confirms ballot over Junior Cycle reforms - RTE 24/1/14 Click here
Teacher unions and Department on collision course over Junior Cert changes - Irish Times 21/1/14 Click here
Fresh blow to Quinn's reform plans - Irish Independent 21/1/14 Click here
Schools may lack capacity to assess students, Quinn told - Irish Examiner 21/1/14 Click here
Learning a lesson on curriculum reform - Irish Examiner 21/1/14 Click here
Gerard Craughwell interviewed on RTE's One News - warns that TUI will not engage with Junior Cycle changes if they are rushed through 20/1/14
TUI President Gerard Craughwell interviewed on RTE’s Morning Ireland on ballot of TUI members on Junior Cycle reform 20/1/14 Click here
Second level unions to ballot teachers on Junior Cert reforms – Irish Times 19/1/14 Click here
Teachers to vote on Junior Cycle co-operation - Irish Examiner 18/1/14 Click here
(Extract) TUI general secretary John MacGabhann said: “With less than nine months left before implementation is scheduled to commence, today was set as a deadline for the Department of Education and Skills to provide concrete information that could be objectively considered by the unions. Regrettably, key questions on standards, capacity and equity which we have repeatedly posed were not satisfactorily answered and the level of detail required on a number of crucial matters was not provided.”
The TUI has already confirmed that it will be balloting for non-cooperation with the implementation of the proposed changes. The ASTI will meet in the coming days to decide if it will carry out a ballot.
Teachers reject latest offer on Junior Cert reforms - Irish Times 18/1/14 Click here
Teacher unions warn of ballot on exam reforms – Irish Independent 18/1/14 Click here
RTE News coverage of TUI and ASTI disappointment with Junior Cycle working group outcome and TUI’s decision to ballot members on non-cooperation. Click here for news item and video – 17/1/14
TUI general secretary John MacGabhann discusses Junior Cycle change concerns on RTE's Morning Ireland http://tinyurl.com/pouph9a 16/1/14
TUI position on Junior Cycle set out in following newspaper articles:
Unions wary of Junior Cert reform plan – Irish Times 16/1/14
Quinn’s ‘holistic’ Junior Cycle leads to teachers’ threat – Irish Daily Mail 16/1/14
Teachers threat on Junior Cert plans – The Herald 16/1/14
Pupils starting second level in 2014 will sit Junior Cycle Student Award 16/1/14
TUI President Gerard Craughwell interviewed on RTE News television bulletin regarding concerns over system readiness for Junior Cycle change 15/1/14
Gerard Craughwell interviewed on TV3 News and on Today FM’s Last Word and Newstalk’s Right Hook programmes regarding potential ballot of members on Junior Cycle 15/1/14
Doubts over TUI's role in Junior Cycle reforms - Irish Examiner 9/1/14
There is still uncertainty over whether teachers at almost 400 second-level schools will take part in junior cycle reforms as their union awaits assurances on issues of concern from the Department of Education.The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) set a deadline three weeks ago for Education Minister Ruairi Quinn’s officials to address concerns about the changes by the end of next week..... click here for full article
Here is your homework for tonight -- watch School of Rock – Irish Independent 8/1/14
(Extract) Teachers have mixed feelings about the Junior Cycle innovations.
"There are a lot of good things in the new Junior Cycle programme and we hope it will help to engage students," says Bernie Judge, education and research officer at the Teachers' Union of Ireland." However we also have a lot of reservations about its implementation."
The most common complaint is about the assessment system that will be used. Until now, students have largely been assessed using state exams, but now the focus will switch to school-based moderation.
Judge says: "Many teachers are reluctant to assess their own students, and there are fears that there will be variations in standards between schools."
With the majority of students staying on for the Leaving Cert, the Junior Cycle exams are not as important a qualification as they once were, and they are often described as "low-stakes exams".
However, Judge explains: "The assessment still needs to be credible. You have to recognise that 15pc of students still leave after the Junior Cycle.
"It also has to be reliable, because students have to make decisions about subject choices in the Leaving Cert."
……Judge adds that there is some concern that smaller schools may lose out, because they will be unable to provide the widest possible variety of courses.
TUI warns that under amended legislation to increase powers available to Teaching Council, any new measures must give due process to teachers. Also highlighted that robust system to deal with incompetence or professional misconduct at local level has been long available under Education Act. TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann interviewed on Newstalk's Breakfast Show, Today FM, Tipp FM, 98FM, SE Radio, WLR FM and East Coast Radio 3/1/14
TUI Education & Research Officer Bernie Judge discusses TUI's position on Junior Cycle reform on Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show 19/12/13
Listen back - from around 5.50 onwards
TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann discusses potential action over Junior Cycle changes with presenter Clem Ryan on Kildare FM's Kildare Today programme 19/12/13
TUI warns of potential action over Junior Cert reform - RTE 18/12/13 Click here for article
TUI position on Junior Cycle reported on and representatives interviewed on various media including RTE Radio 1, TV3, 2FM, FM104, Cork96FM, RedFM, FM104, Q102, Today FM, UTV Radio Network. 18/12/13
Irish Times report on TUI deadline over Junior Cycle reform details - Irish Times 18/12/13
The department is also under pressure after the TUI threatened to ballot members. The union had “repeatedly sought concrete practical details” of the proposed Junior Cert reform but the department had not provided this, TUI president Gerard Craughwell said yesterday. “The department has scheduled a meeting of the Working Group on Junior Cycle for 17th January 2014,” he said. “If the department has still not addressed our concerns after the meeting of this working group, TUI will without delay ballot members to secure agreement not to co-operate with the implementation of the proposed Junior Cycle programme.” Click here for full article
TUI warns of resistance to Junior Certificate reforms - Irish Examiner 18/12/13
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has warned Education Minister Ruairi Quinn its members could refuse to co-operate with the replacement of the Junior Certificate if he does not give a commitment for the necessary supports and funding in the next month........Click here for full article
TUI to ballot on Junior Cycle disruption if conerns are not addressed - www.thejournal.ie 18/12/13 Click here for article
Letter from TUI President Gerard Craughwell in Irish Times 13/12/13
'The system's capacity for change has been largely removed by austerity cuts and schools are considerably less well equipped now than five years ago to deal with new initiatives including the proposed reform of the Junior Cycle.' Click here for full letter
Third level students ne