‘Sitting of Junior Cycle exams in autumn would have been regressive educationally’ – TUI welcomes certainty of revised arrangements

By piofficer, Wednesday, 29th April 2020 | 0 comments

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has welcomed this afternoon’s announcement of revised arrangements for Junior Cycle 2020, stating that the approach is informed by principles of fairness and equity.

Speaking this afternoon, TUI President Seamus Lahart said:

‘We welcome the certainty that these revised arrangements provide at a time of worry, stress and uncertainty for students, parents and teachers. 

Following consultation with members, TUI made clear to the Department of Education and Skills in recent discussions that requiring Senior Cycle students to sit examinations designed for Junior Cycle would be regressive educationally and would further complicate what is likely to be an extremely challenging process of re-opening schools in September.

Any such arrangements would also be time-consuming, would cause unnecessary stress for students and would unacceptably increase the workload of teachers and school management.

The final agreed alternative assessment approach is informed by principles of fairness and equity.

Teachers can now focus on providing service in a logical, coherent manner for the remainder of the term for Junior Cycle students. The arrangements now put in place will provide students with both certification by the Department of Education and Skills and a report at the school level, which will fairly reflect student learning over the period of the programme. We very much welcome the fact that, as advised by the TUI, the arrangements are securely based on what is manageable and equitable within the constraints of the current time.

Teachers are committed to maintaining the remote/online provision of service to all students, irrespective of year cohort and continue to engage with the significant challenges this involves, not least in terms of the substantial additional time required for online delivery.’

Arrangements for adult learners and those for whom Junior Cycle is final opportunity for state certification

‘We welcome that arrangements will be put in place for the small cohort of adult learners who would otherwise have taken the exams in summer to take the final exam in the subject or subjects for which they are entered at a later date.

The TUI also welcomes the fact that there is recognition of the needs of those students for whom the Junior Cycle is the final opportunity for state certification.’

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