The former Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn, has admitted that the agreement reached by his successor Jan O'Sullivan on the Junior Cert is a major climb down.
Trade union bosses have agreed on a proposal to resolve the long-running row on Junior Cycle reform.
Both Mr Quinn and Ms O'Sullivan wanted teachers to mark their own pupils for state certification, but that is no longer happening.
This was deputy Quinn's response when he was asked whether this was a climb down by Minister O'Sullivan: "Yes, but it's also a major climbdown on the part of the teachers who refuse to assess the work of students outside of the exam context altogether. So there has been a compromise, which is progress.
"Teachers are now going to work collabaratively to look at how students perform in presentation work, working together as a group and work on all sorts of things."