On 4 October, 2012, Minister Quinn published A Framework for Junior Cycle. This document contains the Minister's plan to reform the junior cycle in post-primary schools.
A Framework for Junior Cycle builds upon proposals developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and published in November 2011 under the title, Towards a Framework for Junior Cycle-Innovation and Identity. The Minister's plan adopts many of the curricular changes proposed by the NCCA but it also contains more radical changes to how students' progress and learning are assessed at junior cycle. The terminal Junior Certificate Examinations will be replaced with a school-based model of assessment where the emphasis will be on the quality of students' learning experiences. Implementation of the new programme will be phased in, with English being the first subject to be introduced to First Year students in 2014. Short courses developed by the NCCA will also be available in 2014.
Under the new Framework, schools will be expected to deliver a programme that will enable students to develop a wide range of skills, including critical thinking skills and basic skills such as numeracy and literacy.