One of the state's largest teaching unions is to advise its members not to "make up" any classes missed by students sitting their Leaving or Junior Certificate next summer outside normal school hours.
In a reflection of the ongoing anger among teachers arising out of the recent budget, the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) says alternative ways of making up classes must be found from within the school timetable.
However, its approach is likely to prove controversial among both students and their parents, as they endeavour to make up for classes missed due to school closures in the recent bad weather.
TUI general secretary Peter McMenamin told the Sunday Tribune his union "fully expects that teachers will complete the curriculum during normal timetabled classes over the remainder of the school year. We firmly believe that they should not be expected to 'make up' classes missed as a result of the weather outside of school time. We will be advising members of this position and they will be fully supported by the union.
"Teachers have been subject to a pay cut of close to 20% over the past 12 months when the pension levy, pay freeze and budget pay cut are taken into considerate," he added.
McMenamin suggested that if school managers believe there is a need to 'free up' more time, one solution might involve a truncation of the period used to run mock examinations within schools.
"In addition, teachers have told us that large numbers of students often choose to study at home for periods in May on completion of the curriculum, despite timetabled classes still running," he said.
"It would make sense that this time be used to fill any remaining gaps in courses. Needless to say, students are expected to be present at these classes as at any other time during the school year."
The TUI represents over 14,500 teachers at second and third level, with much of its membership at second level drawn from community and comprehensive schools.
All four teachers' unions have already said teachers will not be cooperating with the government's transformation agenda for the public sector.
Students could face more disruption this year, after members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) recently raised the prospect of rolling half-day strikes over the budget pay cuts.