Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (281)

Michael Lowry

Question:

281. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will engage in meaningful discussion with representatives from the secondary schools teachers' unions regarding the proposals advanced by him for junior certificate reform; if he will meet these groups to discuss their concerns because the working group meetings currently taking place are extremely limited; if he will work with them in a constructive manner to resolve these issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21555/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I set up a National Working Group for Junior Cycle last January, as a forum to proactively address identified challenges and opportunities as they arise over the phased implementation time schedule for the Junior Cycle. My officials, through this National Working Group, have engaged in meaningful discussions with the education stakeholders, including the secondary schools teachers unions. Three sub-groups have been established to consider the following issues - Workload and implementation issues for schools and teachers; Quality assurance and support for teacher assessment; and the Continuing professional development required to support teachers and school leaders to implement the Junior Cycle. In all, there have been 12 meetings since January. While school management bodies and others have made written submissions to the Group, the teacher unions have yet to do so. When we receive written submissions from them, the process can move forward.