Following calls this week from the Teachers Union of Ireland urging a rethink on the Junior Cycle Student Award, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West and former party spokesperson on Education Seán Crowe said that the Government and Minister Ruairi Quinn needs to ‘get real’ and begin a meaningful dialogue with Teachers and their Unions.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The TUI has expressed considerable concerns relating to their ability to carry out and deliver changes to the Junior Cert and it is vital that Government and Minister Ruairi Quinn ‘get real’ and begin listening to and attempt to address their legitimate concerns.

“The Teachers’ Union of Ireland has stated that it will not participate in assessments if Ruairi Quinn presses ahead with the new style Junior Cycle Student Award next September.

“Junior Cert Students will be the fall guy’s if this escalates.

“The priority has to be about ensuring that the radical changes to the Junior Cert are deliverable and this means addressing the very genuine concerns of the TUI and their membership who are absolutely essential in delivering the new curriculum.

“Continuous cuts in teacher’s allowances and pay have resulted in a demoralised workforce and an erosion of the goodwill that is so essential to the learning environment in school classrooms. That goodwill is still evident in the education system but it is time now for the Minister for Education to do all within his power to address these grievances.”