One of the country’s largest teachers unions has cast doubt on plans for predicted grades for the 2020 Leaving Cert by telling its members not to cooperate with the plan.
The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland has said that the Department of Education’s plans to indemnify teachers against legal action over predicted grades in the Leaving Cert to not provide enough protection.
The government released guidelines on Thursday which outline how students will receive a predicted grade estimated by their teachers, as well as a class ranking.
The department also plans to indemnify teachers against being sued over this, which will apply where teachers have made “every reasonable effort” to give a grade in accordance with these guidelines.
The ASTI said that it recognises that predicted grades are necessary to provide clarity and allay student anxiety, but that the indemnity being proposed by the Department of Education is not sufficient to safeguard its members.
“As part of that process, we have sought to have full indemnity available for teachers while they undertake this work in good faith.
“Unfortunately, and upon legal advice, the indemnity that has been offered to teachers thus far falls short of what is required and could potentially lead to personal liabilities for costs for second level teachers. This position is unacceptable.”
“We will continue to engage with the Department of Education and Skills to secure the necessary provisions.”
“In the meantime, we are advising ASTI members not to undertake any work on the process until this issue is resolved.”
The predicted grade is being offered to roughly 60,000 young people who were due to take their Leaving Cert this year.
Students will have the option to appeal the grade they receive if they are not satisfied, or to sit conventional Leaving Cert exams when it is safe for them to be held again.