Click here for a letter sent from TUI to the Minister for Education and Skills this afternoon
While the clear preference of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) was always that the written Leaving Certificate examinations would proceed, the Union recognised that this was not possible due to the public health emergency.
The Union engaged fully and positively with the Department of Education and Skills and the other stakeholders in the common effort to devise and implement a credible and reliable process so that our students would have a mechanism to progress to the next phase of their lives.
We engaged in the Calculated Grades process on a good faith, once-off basis and sought and received certain assurances. One such assurance was that the student ranking provided by a school would only be available to a student in response to a data access request. In this regard, it is worth noting that FAQs outlining this understanding were formally endorsed by the Department before they were posted on the TUI website.
Ranking students in such a manner runs completely counter to the values of inclusive teaching and was only agreed upon on the understanding that it was to improve the accuracy of the data collected and would not be released in the manner now planned.
The departure from this agreed position is a fundamental breach of trust by the Department and is profoundly damaging to the student/teacher relationship.
Release of class rankings in such a manner also has the potential to be extremely damaging for more vulnerable students, reinforcing stereotyping and stigmatisation, embedding disadvantage and serving absolutely no useful practical or moral purpose.
The proposed manner of release could result in the personal data of many students being inferred or deduced and circulated without their knowledge
This flagrant breach of trust by the Department is deeply disappointing and shows scant regard for vulnerable students. It will also make future trust-based collaboration extremely difficult.