Fianna Fáil has expressed concern that the level of preparation for Junior Cert reform has been totally inadequate. It follows the announcement from the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn that the Junior Certificate is to be renamed.

Fianna Fáil’s Education Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue said, “The fact is that Minister Quinn has planned just one in-service day for English teachers who are expected to start the new cycle next September. There is no overall change management training for all teachers to ensure schools are actively involved and that there is absolute clarity on what is to be achieved.

“The Minister has announced this name change two days before the first meeting of the working group on Junior Cert reform. I would question the value of unilateral ministerial announcement prior to a meeting that is designed to address the deep concerns about the reforms. It hardly indicates a serious desire to consult with stakeholders on the reforms.

“The Minister also says that some time has been lost over the last few months. Well maybe if the Minister had set up this working group in 2012 when he announced the reforms, this time would not have been lost.

“There is much to welcome in Junior Cert reform but I am deeply concerned that the Minister is not preparing the ground properly. He has spent a year dismissing real concerns about the process, and the name change announcement today could be seen as a further dismissal of these concerns. It adds to fears that he is more preoccupied by grabbing headlines and simply giving the impression of reform, rather than getting everyone on board so that real change is possible.”