Moyne school parents relieved at decision to remain open

Moyne Community School in north Longford staffed by mix of teachers from ASTI and TUI

Four other secondary schools in Co Longford staffed mainly by ASTI teachers were closed on Monday, while four ETB schools staffed mainly by TUI members remained open. File photograph: Stephen Shepherd/Image Bank/Getty Images

Four other secondary schools in Co Longford staffed mainly by ASTI teachers were closed on Monday, while four ETB schools staffed mainly by TUI members remained open. File photograph: Stephen Shepherd/Image Bank/Getty Images

 

Parents whose children attend one of several dual-union schools to open their doors on Monday have spoken of their relief at the decision.

Representatives of the board of management at Moyne Community School in north Longford last week announced its intention to reopen after the mid-term break.

The school is staffed by a mixture of teachers from the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) - which is in dispute over supervision and substitution duties - and the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI).

Four other secondary schools in Co Longford staffed mainly by ASTI teachers were closed on Monday, while four ETB schools staffed mainly by TUI members remained open.

Returned to desks

At Moyne Community School, more than 500 students returned to their desks on Monday.

“I am delighted,” said Alice Connell, whose twin girls Naomi and Sarah are currently studying for their Junior Certificate.

“As far as I know they [the school] have two supervisors in and they are girls going on for their HDip [higher diploma in education], which is great.

“It’s a great relief though, absolutely - and that they [students] are not stuck at home for another week.”

Others praised the school management for ensuring students were able to continue with their studies.

“I have full faith in what they are doing,” said Ursula McGee, mother to Moyne pupils Rachel (14) and Paul (12).

“I went there [Moyne CS] myself and I have never as much as had one problem with the school.”

‘Doing everything’

Board of management member and local councillor Pauric Brady said he and his colleagues were committed to doing everything they could to keep the school open.

“We are open today, we are closed tomorrow because it is a nationwide strike, but we are open Wednesday and are hoping to open Thursday as well,” he said.

“This is about the students at the end of the day. There are projects that have to be handed in this week by students that are in Leaving Cert, but if a school is closed how can they be expected to hand them in?”

School principal and ASTI member Des Cullen confirmed the school was open today but said no “special deal” had been set up between the school’s two unions.

“Currently, schools have to look at requirements for supervision, break times, etc. If we could provide the same level of cover then we could do it [remain open].

“We will be following the parameters of a contingency plan that are set down by the department,” he said.