Accord on teaching posts in merging schools


TEACHING posts in secondary and vocational schools due for amalgamation will now be filled on a permanent rather than a temporary basis under a new agreement.

Under the deal, the Department is to cease its practice of only sanctioning temporary teaching appointments to A and B posts of responsibility in the run in to amalgamations.

Instead, all vacancies arising in amalgamating schools will be filled on a permanent basis and teachers appointed to permanent posts in the two year period before amalgamation will be permanent.

Those appointed to these preamalgamation posts will be subject to redeployment under the Redeployment Scheme, which means they will not have an automatic right to join the staff of the newly formed community school but could be transferred.

The final details of the new agreement, designed to provide a framework for future amalgamations, were negotiated this week by the Department of Education, school managers and the two teachers unions concerned, the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland, and the Teachers' Union of Ireland.

Amalgamations are expected to increase dramatically over the next 20-30 years, both as a result of the rationalisation of the Vocational Education Committees and the decline in size of the young population.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the school going population at second level is expected to decrease by 23 per cent by the year 2026. The impact on the vocational sector is likely to be most severe.

The agreement means that a two year limit will be placed on the length of time that a principal of vice principal must serve in an acting capacity because of an impending amalgamation. It also provides guidelines on the blocking of posts of responsibility, which had caused difficulty in previous amalgamations.

In future, there will be no blocking of posts where there are two or fewer principals or vice principals involved.