The TUI and the ASTI note media reports this morning suggesting that proposed plans for students to sit Leaving Certificate Paper 1 in both English and Irish at the end of fifth year will not proceed for the student cohort of 2024.
This is a welcome development, as we had stated at all times that this was an educationally regressive move that would have increased pressure on students, who would have faced a high stakes examination in both fifth and sixth year. To make matters worse, those who entered fifth year directly from third year – around 25% of the cohort – would have had three concurrent years of State examinations under the plan.
Teachers are always in favour of positive, coherently-devised change that enhances the education service. However, a clear educational basis for this proposal was never presented.
In this regard, it is clear that meaningful and continuing engagement and consultation that recognises and acknowledges the voice of the practitioners is required to ensure that future Senior Cycle change is educationally sound and, crucially, does not increase pressure on students.