The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Education Norma Foley that plans for teachers to assess their own students for state certification purposes will now be shelved.
Speaking this morning, TUI General Secretary Michael Gillespie said:
‘We welcome this morning’s news.
Our clear and unambiguous position has always been that State certification is key to all developments and must be retained. TUI members have always been fundamentally opposed to assessing their own students for State certificate purposes and therefore external assessment and State certification – which retain significant public trust – are essential for all written examinations and all additional components of assessment.’
Change must be positive and coherently-devised
‘Teachers are always in favour of positive, coherently-devised change that enhances the education service.
The relationship between teachers and students is key in the success of Irish education system, which still has an excellent retention rate at second level. Any move that would see teachers marking their own students for state certification purposes would fundamentally change the relationship between student and teacher.
Second components of assessment that assess skills and competencies that cannot be assessed in a written exam are a way forward and in this regard we want to see the development of meaningful, well-resourced components. Also, additional and flexible teaching allocations will be required to support new subjects in schools.
Ongoing 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.
We will be making clear that the required resources must be provided to ensure that all changes are positive.’
Most subjects already have a second assessment component
‘It is important to highlight that Senior Cycle subjects are continually evolving, with the vast majority already having additional components of assessment, such as project, oral or practical work.’