THE ASTI has announced it is withdrawing from discussions on this year’s Leaving Certificate with the Department of Education.
In a statement this evening, the Union said it was withdrawing from the discussions "pending a guarantee that the talks will focus on the Minister’s stated objectives of planning for examinations and scoping out a corresponding measure".
ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie said it was "unacceptable" that a plan was being developed which he said will effectively see students preparing for two versions of a Leaving Cert, with calculated grades being the dominant option, and the Leaving Cert exams filling in assessment gaps.
“The process is being developed in a manner that would see the Leaving Certificate relegated to a secondary position with calculated grades the premier option. The lack of data this year would make the delivery of a credible calculated grades process extremely challenging," said Mr Christie.
“We are calling for the Minister to re-establish the focus of the talks so that a meaningful Leaving Certificate experience is provided,” he added.
In response, the Department of Education has said it is ‘taken aback and disappointed’ at the ASTI's decision to withdraw from talks.
A spokesperson said: “The Minister and her officials will continue to engage with all education representative bodies, including the teacher unions, to provide Leaving Certificate examinations and a corresponding measure for examination students.
“Fairness for the class of 2021 is at the centre of what we want to achieve.”
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) said they will continue to engage with the Department of Education.
A spokesperson said: “Resolution of key issues is critical for students, teachers, and the integrity of the process. Engagement in these intensive negotiations is the best means of ensuring that the views of teachers are central to this process and its outcomes.”