Department to pay parents to supervise students during strike
Up to six weeks of funding for supervison to be available to schools hit by ASTI action
Schools are planning to hire hundreds of parents and other members of the public as supervisors for €19.18 an hour in a bid to keep schools open during the ASTI’s planned industrial action. Photograph: Eric Luke
Secondary schools are planning to hire hundreds of parents and other members of the public as supervisors for €19.18 an hour in a bid to keep schools open, The Irish Times has learned.
The details are contained in internal contingency plans drawn up by the Department of Education and school management bodies in response to the ASTI’s planned industrial action.
The plans indicate that priority cover will be given to Leaving Cert and Junior Cert classes to help minimise disruption to tens of thousands of students in the run-up to their State exams.
Parents of all students in schools affected will receive letters with application forms to become supervisors in local school from boards of management. Schools also plan to place local advertisements to widen the net of suitable personnel.
This will be provided through day-long seminars organised in a number of different venues nationwide.
Payment rates will be set at a daily contract rate of €38.36 based on a minimum of two hours’ supervision.
Where supervision above these hours is required, it will remunerated at €19.18 per additional hour.
The department has pledged to make up to six weeks’ worth of funding available to schools for this supervision and substitution cover.
Supervision arrangements will apply to the period before school, the mid-morning break and the period after school.
The draft contingency plan accepts the time-frame allowed for recruitment of supervisors poses significant challenges and difficulties for school management in attempting to put in place a workable mechanism for supervision and substitution.
It adds that if it becomes necessary due to exceptional circumstances, parents should be informed that the school may have to contemplate either partial closure or closure for a limited period.
If schools remain open, it may be necessary to limit or cancel extracurricular activities such as sport in order to minimise supervision requirements, the plan notes.
In hiring staff, the plan states that school management should identify where possible suitable personnel who may be known locally to the management of the school.
The contingency plans envisage that principals may recruit part-time and temporary teachers and ancillary staff.