Teachers are being used as baby minders while both parents work, delegates told

 

TEACHERS were being treated as babyminders by a State which had failed to provide creche facilities where both parents are out working, the ASTI conference has been told.

Mr Noel Buckley, Tipperary, said the agenda had been set by parents' pressure groups complaining that their children had been sent home with no one to care for them.

Teachers were being asked to pay for the State's failure to provide creche facilities in situations where both parents were working. He advised the Minister for Education to inform herself of the facilities available in Scandinavian countries.

The "Time in School" circular was "the most disgraceful document ever to emanate from the Department of Education", the conference was told.

Ms Susie Hall, Dublin North East, said to call the circular an act of bad faith was to put the "best possible light" on it.

She reminded delegates that the document, which aimed to regulate the length of the school year and stamp out unauthorised school closures, had not been withdrawn.

Schools were being treated like factories, with no discretion allowed to close in times of celebration or even death, Mr Liam Sadlier, Mayo, told the conference.

Mr Michael Barry called on teachers to "close down shop" over the circular.

"What are we going to do about it? Are we going to talk until the cows come home? We need action, we need to tell them we won't get involved in any new courses," he said.