A union representing secondary school teachers has said there should be no change to the Leaving Certificate curriculum until the new framework at junior cycle has been bedded in.

The ASTI also cautioned that issues related to working conditions for teachers must also be addressed first.

The union was commenting ahead of a consultative conference to be held in Dublin tomorrow as part of a review of senior cycle education that is being conducted by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

The ASTI has published research it commissioned that examines the NCCA consultation process.

The research, carried out by former second-level school principal Dr Brian Fleming, calls for "a breather" of three years to allow schools to focus on how junior cycle reform is unfolding. It also calls for "a rigorous independent evaluation" of those reforms.

The paper also says that pay and casualisation, teacher supply, and under-funding issues should be addressed during this "breather" period.

Commenting on the current NCCA review ASTI president, Deirdre Mac Donald, questioned why the authorities were "rapidly progressing" with senior cycle changes when it was as yet unknown whether or not changes at junior cycle had worked.

"We are not against change," she said. "But we want change that is built on solid foundations and is properly resourced."

The NCCA review of senior cycle education began in 2016. Two rounds of consultation involving more than 40 schools, as well as other stakeholders, have taken place. A third round is currently under way.

Expressing some criticism of the process, Ms Mac Donald said the union felt that during one of these phases the voice of teachers was "marginalised" in favour of the voice of employer groups such as Ibec.

While the union stressed that it believed all groups were entitled to an input, Ms MacDonald said "it looked like their voices were being prioritised over teachers".

She said teachers believed that education should not be "just about producing economic units to feed the economy".

However, Ms Mac Donald praised the third phase of consultations, which she said was being primarily attended by teachers.

The NCCA has pointed out that 41 schools have been central to the review process so far. The agency says it does not believe that undue weight has been given to any particular group.

The ASTI has called for teachers to be treated as key stakeholders at all stages of education policy development. It said it would begin a comprehensive consultation of its 17,000 members in coming weeks.