The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland has said it is likely that the dispute over Junior Cycle reform will continue into the next school year, and that more strike action will be necessary if agreement is not reached.

Just a week before its annual congress, the ASTI leadership warned today that reform cannot succeed without the support of teachers.

It published a survey showing low morale among members and a conviction among many that neither teachers nor schools were sufficiently equipped to properly implement Junior Cycle reforms.

While further strike action between now and June is unlikely, the union warned that it reserved the right to take such action into the future.

In an online questionnaire completed by more than 2,000 ASTI members, more than 80% of teachers said their current workload was incompatible with the reforms' new planning and administrative requirements.

It said 88% of school principals agreed that teachers' workloads were a key barrier to effective implementation, while 90% of English teachers surveyed said they needed more training in the new framework.

30% said they had a low level of knowledge of the proposed new system.

The new Junior Cycle English course was brought in last September.

English teachers received one day of training prior to its introduction.

The survey also found that school science facilities were a barrier to implementation, with 60% of science teachers saying their science labs were inadequate.

More than half of all principals surveyed complained that their school did not have enough science labs.

ASTI President Philip Irwin said international research showed that education reform only worked with the support of teachers.

He said the survey showed widespread dissatisfaction amongst second-level teachers about the way the Framework for Junior Cycle is being implemented.

The ASTI and its sister union, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland, is currently in dispute with the Department of Education over Junior Cycle reform.

The survey was carried out by Millward Brown. It was completed by just over 2,000 members, which represents 21% of all those it was sent to.