Parents and teachers on collision course over junior cycle strike plan

‘Teachers should have confidence in themselves,’ says council chairman

Claims by the teacher unions that they have widespread public support for their stance on the junior cycle reforms have been challenged by the National Parents Council Post Primary.

Its president Don Myers took issue with a statement by ASTI president Philip Irwin that parents were "concerned" about the reform plan. Mr Myers said "parents have confidence in teachers" to carry out school-based assessments in a fair and impartial manner. Parents welcomed the move towards "interactive learning rather than memorised learning", he said.

The executive committees of the ASTI and the TUI are to meet tomorrow to decide whether to push ahead with a threatened one-day strike after rejecting a compromise offer from Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan.

Ms O'Sullivan backed down on a plan to have teachers assess 100 per cent of marks under a new junior cycle certificate. However, she told The Irish Times, "I won't be moving away from 40 per cent school-based assessment".

Joe Humphreys

Joe Humphreys

Joe Humphreys is an Assistant News Editor at The Irish Times and writer of the Unthinkable philosophy column