The Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers' Unions of Ireland (TUI) are to ballot their members on Junior Cycle reform proposals.

However, neither executive committee has yet decided on whether to recommend the proposal to members.

Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan welcomed the breakthrough in negotiations following the publication of newly-agreed proposals.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News, Ms O'Sullivan denied she had compromised and that there would be a change of behaviour in the classroom.

"This is very much a reform and a breakthrough, because there will now be a written exam - which I have said has value - but there will be less dominance on the written exam, and we will also have the assessment which will be done in the classroom by classroom teachers," Ms O'Sulllivan said.

"And these will both be presented to the parents and the students at the end of the three year cycle."

The new cycle would involve students sitting a revised exam that would be assessed by the State Examinations Commission (SEC).

Separately, teachers would assess students through classroom-based-assessments, with each subject being assessed once in second year and once in third year.

Based on the second of these assessments, students would also complete a written assessment task on each subject in third year and this would be assessed by the SEC.

At the end of the three-year cycle students will receive a profile of achievement document.

This will include their results, as assessed by the SEC (the combined result from the exam and the assessment task) alongside their results from their classroom-based-assessments.

The number of subjects assessed in this way will be limited to ten, and exam times will be limited to two hours per subject.

For example, Junior Cert students now sit for five hours when they complete English papers one and two. This will now limited to two hours in total.

A new subject of Well Being will be introduced, encompassing Physical Education, SPHE and CSPE.

Students will also be able to opt to study a number of short courses, such as computer programming, and a student's results in these will appear separately on their profile of achievement document.

An updated Junior Cycle Framework outlining further details of the proposals is to be published by the end of June.