Teachers to stay in Roscommon after row over redeployment plan

Aisling McTiernan and Aimee Costello selected for redeployment under scheme

In their High Court actions, the teachers claimed the decisions to redeploy them breached a Department of Education circular, was contrary to fair procedures, and was irrational and unreasonable.

In their High Court actions, the teachers claimed the decisions to redeploy them breached a Department of Education circular, was contrary to fair procedures, and was irrational and unreasonable.

 

Two secondary school teachers have resolved their High Court challenges against a decision to redeploy them to other schools.

Following out of court talks between lawyers for Aisling McTiernan and Aimee Costello, and those representing the Minister for Education and the school’s board of management it was agreed that the two will remain at Meán Scoil Muire Gan Smál, in Roscommon Town.

The two teachers, represented by Feichin McDonagh SC and Padraic Lyons Bl have both taught at the school for approximately ten years.

They brought judicial review proceeding after they were selected for redeployment under a scheme set out in a Department of Education and Skills circular.

The school was informed last December it had teaching staff in excess of its approved allocation for the academic year 2019/20.

Ms Costello who teaches Irish, Geography, Civic, Social and Political Education and programming and Ms McTiernan who teaches English and History, were both selected for redeployment.

They unsuccessfully appealed those decisions, on several grounds including that they were not surplus to the school’s curricular requirements, to the school’s board of management.

In their High Court actions, they claimed the decisions to redeploy them breached the Department’s circular, was contrary to fair procedures, was irrational and unreasonable.

Among their grounds, they claimed there was a failure by the Minister to base its decisions on an objective circular audit containing accurate data on the school.

It is also alleged that there was a failure to provide any rationale for conclusions that certain subjects, including Irish, Geography, English and History, were in surplus at the school.

The board’s decision, they also claimed, was irrational and unreasonable on grounds including that there was a failure to give adequate reasons for the decisions.

Both teachers, who live with their families in Roscommon Town, claim their redeployment would have caused great upset to their personal lives and circumstances.

In their actions against both the Minister for Education and the school’s Board of Management, they had sought various orders and declarations.

They sought orders quashing both the Minister’s decisions that they redeployed for the 2019/20 school year and the school’s board of management’s refusal to uphold their appeals against the redeployment decisions.

Following talks between the parties earlier this week, Mr Justice Séamus Noonan was told the teachers’ actions had been resolved on consent and it was agreed that the decisions concerning their proposed redeployment could be quashed.

The cases were then struck out.