Republic of Ireland news

Teaching union in Republic advises teachers to co-operate with new leaving cert grading plans

Students in the Republic are set to receive calculated Leaving Cert grades for the first time based on teachers' estimates
Aine McMahon, Press Association

The Republic's second-largest teaching union has said its members will now co-operate with the new grading system for the Leaving Certificate.

The change comes after the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) said yesterday that its teachers should not engage with the new system until they are offered stronger legal protections by the State.

In a statement today, the union said it has advised its members to engage with the calculated grades after securing full indemnity for members.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Leaving Cert row after leading teachers' union refuses to back grading plans

"Crucially, the Department of Education and Skills has given an undertaking that in all cases where the indemnity applies, the Chief State Solicitor's Office will take over the running of the litigation.

"This strengthening of the indemnity will ensure that a teacher will not have to employ her/his own legal team to defend herself/himself and run the risk of incurring large irrecoverable costs and expenses."

The ASTI said that teachers will now proceed with the process and "will apply the high professional standards it requires".

Following the decision by Education Minister Joe McHugh to cancel the Leaving Certificate exam in June, students are set to receive calculated grades for the first time based on teachers' estimates.

The Leaving Cert exams in the Republic have been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic

Teachers will be asked to provide an estimated percentage mark for each student for each subject.

Under the new system, students will have access to an online portal from next week where they will have to confirm if they wish to receive a calculated grade.

The ASTI had expressed concerns on Thursday that teachers could be left to pay some of their own legal costs if a student decides to take legal action over their grades.

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Republic of Ireland news