The ASTI has said that it will work to support the Government's decision to postpone the June Leaving Certificate examinations until later in the summer.

Speaking today, ASTI President Deirdre Mac Donald said: "In recent days, we have consulted extensively with our members. Second-level teachers have given us a strong message of overwhelming support for their students."

The union's executive body, which met today, confirmed its support for the Government's decision on the Leaving Cert, "notwithstanding a number of serious concerns raised by teachers" all over the country, it said.

The executive reported that members had indicated a willingness to be available, where possible, to assist with student preparation and face-to-face engagement prior to the examinations.

The Government announced last week that it planned to postpone the Leaving Cert to begin in late July or early August, dependent on the latest public health advice.

Following the meeting today, Ms Mac Donald said the ASTI will meet with the Department of Education and Skills and other relevant agencies, to seek to resolve issues raised by its members.

"We look forward to engaging constructively with the Minister and the Department. We are very cognisant of the wellbeing implications posed by this pandemic to everyone, especially our students."

Read more: Unions call on teachers to engage with exam proposals

The ASTI also commented on plans to cancel the Junior Certificate.

Ms Mac Donald called on Education Minister Joe McHugh to award a State Certificate to all the Junior Cert candidates in recognition of their participation in, and completion of, the three years of Junior Cycle in June 2020.

The Government said the Junior Cert exams would be replaced by some form of school-based assessment in the next academic year.

Ms Mac Donald warmly acknowledged the efforts of teachers and students in continuing teaching and learning in challenging circumstances.

"It is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the teaching profession to their students," she said.