Valuing school secretaries

 

Sir, – As the pandemic is seemingly over and plaudits are being handed out, it may be timely to remind the Department of Education that it has committed to placing school secretaries on a public service incremental scale and addressing their call for a significant wage increase.

This commitment was to see the roll-out of this agreement from last September. They are still waiting.

While school leaders and staff are being congratulated for keeping schools open in incredibly difficult circumstances, it is worth underlining the huge role school secretaries played in this.

They had to deal with endless parental requests and queries related to Covid and thus needed to display a clear knowledge at all times of restrictions and procedures. This was not easy as the protocols changed so frequently. This was aside from their already onerous duties.

The Department of Education put in place a range of measures (eventually) to deal with teacher absence.

With respect to all teaching staff, a school would grind to a halt without a school secretary, who is almost irreplaceable if absent.

There still is no illness benefit or pension scheme in place for a school secretary.

I call on the Government to address this long overdue issue which would be the most appropriate way to show appreciation to school secretaries for their role during the pandemic. – Yours, etc,

AIDAN BOYLE,

Scoil Cholmcille

Senior National School,

Ballybrack,

Co Dublin.