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Junior Cert students to lose marks over ASTI row, Minister says

Richard Bruton claims pupils in 375 schools could miss 10% of their English exams

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton at Government Buildings, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Junior Cert students in the 375 secondary schools where teachers are refusing to engage in curriculum reforms face losing 10 per cent of their marks in one of this year’s exams, the Dáil has heard.

Members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) are in a dispute with the Government about the reforms, which are to include classroom-based assessments.

The first phase of the reforms involves the new Junior Cert English curriculum, which is being examined this year for the first time.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said 10 per cent of the marks for English were to be based on a written piece of work in a new classroom-based assessment.

“If that has not happened those marks cannot be assigned,” he said.

Concerns

Mr Bruton told Labour education spokeswoman Joan Burton in the Dáil that this process was under pressure in the 375 schools that were purely ASTI.

“We would like to see the issue resolved but we must do it through the Teachers Conciliation Council and that is what we are seeking to do.”

Ms Burton had asked: “Where stands the Junior Certificate reform?”

She had called on the Minister to give an assurance that students would not end up being penalised or losing marks because their schools or some of the teachers in the schools might not be participating fully in Junior Cert reforms.