Mature entrants to teaching
Sir, – There have always been a number of teachers who have become teachers later in their careers.
These teachers have contributed hugely to the system, especially in the area of further education.
The decision as to whether a teacher was fully qualified have been an ongoing subject of negotiations between the unions (particularly the Teachers Union of Ireland) and the Department of Education over the years. It can be a difficult area to negotiate but recognised prior learning has to be part of the system. Just because a task is difficult does not mean it should not be done. The potential rewards for the education system are great.
The advent of the Teaching Council did not change the necessity to negotiate less straightforward qualifications, and if the Teaching Council does not see it as part of its role , then the Department of Education should continue this role as it has done in the past.
TUI members of the Teaching Council, including myself, have drawn attention to this matter on numerous occasions to no avail.
At present we are facing an unprecedented shortage of teachers, especially in certain areas. To block and hinder excellent potential teachers from making their contribution is shortsighted and unforgivable. – Yours, etc,