At a meeting of its Executive Committee this evening, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) decided to engage with the system of Calculated Grades outlined by the Minister today.
The Union had engaged extensively with the other education stakeholders in relation to the state examinations. While the clear preference of the TUI had been that the written examinations would proceed in July/August, regrettably this has proved to be not possible. At all times, the health and safety of students, teachers and the wider public had to be and was the main consideration. It became increasingly clear that physical and practical requirements in the context of the current health emergency meant that the holding of the written and practical examinations was not feasible.
Clearly, we are living through unprecedented times and there are no perfect solutions to the challenges that we currently face. However, students have a right to advance to the next stage of their lives, be that further study or employment, and this requires a mechanism that will allow them to do so.
The TUI will require clarifications on a range of issues related to the system of Calculated Grades and will engage with the Department to ensure that the system is fair and equitable for every student. Similarly, we will require safeguards to ensure that the professional integrity of teachers is protected.
However, we recognise that in the exceptional circumstances of this year, exceptional measures are required to support our students. Implementation of these measures on an emergency basis will not and cannot be regarded as a precedent or as agreement to operate such measures in future years and we note that this is recognised by the Department and the Minister.