Junior cycle reform agreement concluded ‘on all aspects’

Members of the two teachers’ unions will vote on the proposals in September


Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has announced that agreement on all aspects of the junior cycle reform has concluded with the two main teachers’ unions.

In a statement released today, Ms O’Sullivan said she had briefed her Cabinet colleagues on the agreement and would publish an updated Framework for Junior Cycle report.

She said the report would outline all of the agreed provisions for the junior cycle.

Ms O’Sullivan said the agreement on time and resources for the implementation of the proposed changes was reached on Wednesday, July 8th.

The teacher unions will put the agreed proposals to a ballot of their members in September.

She said she was determined the necessary resources and teacher training would be in place to allow for classroom-based assessment of students.

Ms O’Sullivan said the reformed junior cycle would deliver classroom-based assessments and examinations “appropriate to the needs of the 21st century”.

Teachers would be provided with up to 16 in-service training days to ensure the smooth implementation of the reforms.

The Department of Education said substitute teachers would be drafted in while teachers are at a training day.

“Parents and guardians will receive a much broader picture of the young person’s learning achievements through the junior cycle,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

She said schools would have the necessary supports availabe for the implementation of the reforms to be rolled out in September.

“The work of school leadership is a vital element of the implementation plan for junior cycle. The culture change needed to implement the new curriculum programmes successfully and to embed formative classroom-based assessment is significant,” she said.

Members of the two teachers’ unions involved in the agreement, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland are due to vote on the proposals in two months.

“This document, together with the joint statement on principles and implementation, which was agreed in May, will be balloted on by teachers in September,” the ASTI and TUI said in a statement.

The executive bodies of the two unions will meet in late August to further discuss balloting members.