Minister O'Sullivan 'not backing down' over junior cycle reform

Minister O'Sullivan 'not backing down' over junior cycle reform

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan has said that plans for junior cycle reform are "not in the bin".

Minister O'Sullivan said she has no intention of backing down on the junior cycle reform plans, which are a compromise between school-based assessment and the State evaluation favoured by teachers..

“It is absolutely not in the bin, it has been agreed. There are other stakeholders in education besides teaching unions there are above all students and they are supportive. There are parents and they are supportive,” Minister O’Sullivan said.

“There are management bodies and principles and deputy principles so all of those stakeholders have signed off and have agreed on this."

The ASTI's president Maire Ni Chiarba has said teachers do not have faith in the Government and don't trust it to fund the changes needed.

The union's national executive will meet in Dublin this lunchtime to discuss the next step.

“Members have voted to reject the proposal as they are at the moment they have also voted to continue the industrial action,” ASTI general secretary Pat King said.

“It is a very limited form of industrial action in that it does not affect students at all but presumably the industrial will discuss all that and what is it that people have problems with.”

However, more than 11,000 of the union's 18,000 members failed to vote in the ballot.

While the Teachers Union of Ireland backed the junior cycle proposals, by 69% to 31%.

Former Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has said a minority of teachers should not be allowed to stop progress.

“I think that there is a two way street on this, I can not see how a minority of 38% turnout can have a veto on change in our education system,” Mr Quinn said.

A spokesperson for the National parents post-primary council Don Myers has said while he is disappointed with the outcome of the ballot, he is sure a 'resolution' can be found.

“What I would say at this point is I know the ASTI are meeting today, this is a matter for the ASTI to deal with in house and I am sure that a resolution to this can be found swiftly... let’s move on,” Mr Myers said.

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