Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan says she is determined to press ahead with reforms to the Junior Cert - despite rejection from teachers' unions.
Minister O'Sullivan says two days of talks with teachers on the proposed overhaul of the Junior Cert have ended without agreement.
Teachers have threatened to go on strike over the plans, which would see teachers assess their own pupils for 40% of their total grade.
However, Minister O'Sullivan says the overhaul is long overdue and cannot be delayed any further.
National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) stated that teachers were facing a ‘curricular limbo’.
"NAPD is disappointed to learn that talks between the Department of Education & Skills and second-level teaching unions on the issue of Junior Cycle reform have reached an impasse," a statement read.
"Minister O’Sullivan appears to have gone some way to address the concerns of the teaching unions, particularly in relation to her proposals regarding final exams in third year, a State certificate and marks awarded for project or portfolio work.
"These proposed changes suggest that agreement can eventually be reached and the NAPD remains hopeful that the teaching unions and the Department will resume engagement.
"Teachers and students are currently facing a ‘curricular limbo’ due to the lack of agreement on implementing the proposed Junior Cert reforms.
"It is vital that progress is made to ensure that schools are not left operating within a climate of uncertainty and confusion."