Education Minister: Everyone loses if teachers block Junior Cert reform

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan has said that as long as teaching unions maintain a complete veto on Junior Cert reform proposals, everyone loses.

Around 27,000 second-level teachers will stage a lunchtime demonstration outside schools over the issue today.

Minister O'Sullivan said it is still her intention to move ahead with plans to introduce a reform of the English syllabus in September - even though most teachers have not yet availed of the training on offer.

“I have moved – considerably – but I need some movement from the other side, and then I think we can get back to the table and I think we can solve this,” she said.

“All I can do is to urge the teachers to really engage with this, because everybody is losing out, as long as they maintain a complete veto and don’t move at all on this.”

ASTI President Philip Irwin said the Minister's refusal to engage is why teachers are outside school gates this lunchtime.

"She said she's pressing ahead without us … this happened just before Christmas, that unless we accepted [her terms] she wouldn't talk to use on other issues.

"There are a lot of other serious issues, and we should be getting on with those - that's why teachers are outside the gates today.

"This will go on into the new year - teachers are determined on it."


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