‘This was a ministerial decree. That’s not the way to bring people with you’

This is the inside story of how the government did a U-turn on its proposed three-day week for Leaving Cert students after the teachers’ unions and students awarded Norma Foley a ‘fail’

Aiden Corkery

Political Correspondent @aiden_corkery
10th January, 2021
‘This was a ministerial decree. That’s not the way to bring people with you’
Norma Foley: the Minister for Education was motivated by a desire to ensure the traditional Leaving Cert should go ahead as planned this summer Picture: Julien Behal

Martin Marjoram, the president of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) had never experienced anything like it.

After days of mounting speculation last week that the schools would not be coming back as expected on January 11, word began to filter through that the government was planning on bringing Leaving Cert students back for three days a week.

The response was one of near-widespread alarm, Marjoram said. Most teachers who contacted him were genuinely terrified...

Subscribe from just €1 for the first month!

Exclusive offers:

All Digital Access + eReader



Unlimited Access for 1 Month, €19.99 Monthly thereafter

Get basic

*New subscribers only

You can cancel any time.



€149 For the 1st Year

Unlimited Access for 1 Year

You can cancel any time.




90 Day Pass

You can cancel any time.

2 Yearly



Unlimited Access for 2 Years

You can cancel any time.

Team Pass

Get a Business Account for you and your team

Related Stories

Linda Doyle elected first-ever female provost of TCD

Trinity could survive without state funding, provost says

Analysis: Pressure on school places means political row is brewing

Principals warn of burnout as primary schools return to full teaching