The Government aims to agree plans for this year’s Leaving Cert today.
The Education Minister Norma Foley will update the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Education on the negotiations this afternoon.
Yesterday, Minister Foley told her Cabinet colleagues that she is aiming to have all students back in school from next month – with March 1st set out as a target date.
The Government aims to agree plans for the Laving Cert today; however, teachers’ unions have warned that major issues remain after the talks broke up late last night.
Negotiations resume this morning with a union source warning that it is hard to say whether they can be overcome before this afternoon's cabinet sub-committee meeting.
The favoured model is one that has an element of written exams along with some predictive grades.
However, it's yet to be confirmed what choice individual students will have between the two for their own exams.
It comes as the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) called for the Junior Cert to be cancelled.
The union warned that it won’t be possible to run both State exams at the same time and called for the Junior Cert to be replaced with a suitable alternative.
TUI President Martin Marjoram told Newstalk the country’s 60,000 Junior Cert students need urgent clarity on what is happening.
“We are clear that, now that it can’t run at the same time as the Leaving Cert examinations – given the public health situation we just don’t have the space or the building stock in our schools to do that,” he said.
“We need clarity for the students involved and indeed for their families and the teachers.”
He warned that additional space will be needed just to hold the Leaving Cert, adding that the Junior Cert is “just not going to work on the basis of what is available.”
There's no date set for the full return of schools just yet, but ministers expect it to happen in March.
NPHET is due to give advice to the government on Thursday that will feed into that decision, with Cabinet keen to give clarity this week.
Additional reporting Michael Staines