Delegates angry that 175 unqualified people continue to be registered

 

TEACHING COUNCIL REGISTER:MORE THAN 175 unqualified personnel are registered with the professional body for teachers and over one-third of these have no post-Leaving Cert qualifications, the conference heard yesterday.

One delegate, Susan Fitzgerald (Newbridge, Co Kildare) said she was shocked and outraged by these "masqueraders" appearing on the Teaching Council register.

"Why did we bother putting blood, sweat and tears into our teacher training when any Joe Soap who was employed as a teacher in schools in March 2006 was automatically registered to the Teaching Council?" she asked.

Anne McCarthy (North Dublin) said teachers should not be paying the €90 registration charge for the Teaching Council until section 30 - banning the use of unqualified personnel - was fully implemented.

"I don't see someone standing in a surgery pretending to be a doctor when I bring my kids there. And to add insult to injury we are being asked to pay €90 to work alongside unqualified people."

Conference agreed not to work with unqualified personnel after 2013.

In other business yesterday, all three teacher unions agreed to build closer links although talk of a "super union" of the 55,000 union members remains premature.

The three teacher unions - the INTO, the ASTI and the TUI - agreed to work together on a limited range of issues.

On funding, John Brennan (Enniscorthy) said many school principals in Wexford were running a deficit and surviving on overdrafts.

Carmel Browne (Longford) highlighted the lack of PE and sports facilities in schools, despite the drive to combat obesity in children. "It is totally unacceptable that the majority of our schools have no indoor sports facilities or access to suitable outdoor facilities." No child, she said, should have to pay for any part of the PE programme offered by schools during school hours.

Delegates backed a motion calling for the Department of Education to fund swimming lessons, which form part of the PE curriculum in schools.

On pensions, Brendan O'Sullivan criticised the recent benchmarking report, which classed pensions as a form of deferred salary and consequently marked down salaries by 12 per cent. An attack on your pension is an attack on your salary, he told delegates.