Exams body says Junior Cert students can avoid 10% penalty

Up to 40,000 students face losing marks due to ASTI dispute over reforms

Thousands of students affected by the ASTI dispute will be able to complete a task worth 10%  of their summer exams, according to the State Examinations Commission

Thousands of students affected by the ASTI dispute will be able to complete a task worth 10% of their summer exams, according to the State Examinations Commission

 

Thousands of junior cycle students will have a chance to avoid a 10 per cent penalty in this summer’s English exam if teachers allow them a last chance to complete a classroom-based assessment task, the State Examinations Commission has said.

In a statement on Friday evening, the commission said students in schools affected by a dispute involving the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, (ASTI) will be able complete this task in the week beginning April 24th.

The ASTI teachers are banned from marking students’ work in any classroom-based assessments linked to the reforms. However, commission officials are understood to believe that new guidance could allow teachers to supervise assessments without grading them or flouting their union directive. This would mean that students could complete an assessment task – worth 10 per cent of their summer exams – which is marked by the commission.

Students would not, however, receive a new junior cycle “profile of achievement” linked to the new exam. These involve school-issued descriptors which will state whether students met, exceeded or failed to meet expectations as part of a broader assessment of learning outcomes.

The union’s rejection on Thursday of settlement proposals aimed at resolving the dispute means this ban remains in place.

At present pupils in about two out of three secondary schools, or at least 40,000 students, will not be able to take part in classroom-based assessments due to the ASTI dispute.

The union’s opposition to the junior cycle changes stems mainly from its belief that teachers should not have to mark their students’ work for State exams.