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Resolutions Adopted Wednesday

SEN Allocation

Congress demands:

a. that the proposed new model for the allocation of learning support and resource will not involve any reduction from current allocation to any school;

b. that the total allocation accruing from the baseline, standardised tests, social context and gender element will never be less than five hours per class teacher;

c. that all categories of disability which currently qualify for low incidence teaching hours be included as complex needs under the new model;

d. that the views of teachers and parents be sought and included when the ‘model for the identification of pupils with complex needs in future’ is being devised;

e. that all reports which qualify children for LITH continue to be accepted for same and not be limited to those from HSE and NEPS;

f. that the INTO categorically rejects the imposition on principals, of the responsibility of selecting pupils for resource/learning support teaching;

g. that the DES and NCSE continue to have legal responsibility for the provision and allocation of adequate SEN resources to schools and that no such legal liability would ever be transferred onto boards of management, principals or teachers; and

h. an immediate response from the INTO up to and including industrial action should the introduction of the new model result in a reduction of resources to any school.

Brexit

Congress:

a. notes the outcome of the UK referendum 2016, and the intention of the Westminster Government to trigger an exit from the EU;

b. is deeply concerned about the implications of Brexit for members, for workers generally and for rights as set out in the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement;

c. commits INTO to supporting ICTU demands that:

(i) hard won employment rights are not to be dismantled through Brexit;
(ii) strategies to protect existing job levels be developed;
(iii) the UK continue its membership of the Single Market and Customs Union;
(iv) both governments support continued free movement of people on the island and to operate mutual recognition of professional qualifications; and
(v) a funding guarantee be provided to support a sunset clause in relation to EU funding streams in existence pre-Brexit.

Teacher Mobility

Congress:

a. recognises the importance of the supplementary panel and the impact of the Ward Report on fixed-term and part-time employment in securing permanent employment for 1,300 primary teachers for the 2016/2017 school year;

b. calls on the CEC to secure equal access to CIDs for fixed-term teachers covering for job sharing arrangements;

c. expresses concern at the current lack of mobility for permanent teachers who wish to move schools;

d. further calls on the CEC to:

(i) engage with the DES, Management and patrons to establish a voluntary transfer scheme for permanent teachers; and
(ii) in conjunction with the Northern Committee, to work with relevant departments of education and employing authorities to develop a scheme to allow the movement of teachers between schools across the island of Ireland, in recognition of the changing needs of teachers and education.

Assaults on Teachers

Congress:

a. notes:

(i) the increase in verbal and physical attacks on teachers in schools;
(ii) the detrimental impact these attacks are having on the mental and physical health of teachers;
(iii) the lack of standard safety guidelines in the area of physical restraint;

b. acknowledges that teachers working in special education are not always trained for the physical, mental and pedagogical demands which they face;

c. demands that it be made mandatory for the DES to provide MAPA (Management of Actual or Potential Aggression) training or similar training for teachers in special education on a regular basis; and

d. calls on the DES to establish standardised guidelines and provide associated funding for relevant training with regard to both using and reducing restrictive practices and physical interventions in schools.

Emergency Motion: Family Bereavement Leave

Congress:

a. notes the revised provisions regarding special leave with pay which may be allowed to a civil servant in the event of the death of a spouse (including a cohabiting partner), child (including adopted children and children being cared for on the basis of ‘in loco parentis’) or any person in a relationship of domestic dependency, shall be twenty working days; and

b. demands that the CEC enters into immediate negotiations with the DES to revise Circular 32/07 bringing family bereavement leave for teachers in line with the new provisions allowed for civil servants.

Maternity/Pregnancy Related Leave

Congress:

a. demands that:

(i) teachers on maternity leave be allowed to accrue leave in lieu of annual leave missed;
(ii) pregnancy related sick leave be discounted from a member’s sick leave record;
(iii) the CEC negotiates with the DES an extension of maternity leave entitlements for mothers to cover such time that their babies have spent in neo-natal units as a result of premature births;

b. instructs the CEC to seek:

(i) special provision for certified leave on full pay, to allow teachers adequate leave due to fertility treatment, threatened miscarriage, miscarriage and other pregnancy complications;
(ii) the restoration of the full discounting of pregnancy related sick leave at full pay; and

c. calls on the CEC to ensure that these matters are addressed urgently and, should the DES and DPER fail to engage by Congress 2018, that a process of industrial action be initiated.

Emergency Motion: DEIS

Congress:

a. notes the publication of the Report on the Review of DEIS along with the subsequent DEIS Plan 2017;

b. further notes with concern the non-transparent manner in which the allocation of SEN hours were granted to individual DEIS schools with regard to ‘Social Context’ under Circular 17/17;

c. rejects outright the concept of the proposed Schools Excellence Fund;

d. instructs the CEC to enter negotiations to ensure:

(i) that schools currently holding DEIS status retain their current status and resourcing levels as a minimum;
(ii) posts granted under previous social inclusion schemes be retained in all schools;
(iii) the restoration of the Resource Teachers and The Visiting Teachers for Travellers;
(iv) the return, where appropriate and extension where identified, of a maximum 15:1 ratio in all DEIS Band 1 junior classes and a maximum 20:1 in senior classes;
(v) that psychological, counselling, play therapy and speech therapy services be made available in school provided by the relative professionals;
(vi) all additional resources granted to DEIS schools be done in an open and transparent manner;
(vii) the publication of the criteria under which additional DEIS status was granted or denied to individual schools;
(viii) that the list of hours granted to all individual DEIS schools under ‘Social Context’ be published, together with a detailed explanation of how such determination was made;
(ix) all additional schools granted DEIS status be funded through separate funds from the DES, so as not to impinge on or decrease funding granted to current DEIS Schools; and

e. further instructs the CEC to ballot members with regard to a campaign on industrial action, up to and including strike action, if agreement is not reached on these matters by 30 September 2017.

SSE

Congress:

a. notes with concern the imminent introduction of the new language programme through the SSE model despite the CEC directive on SSE;

b. demands that:

(i) the CEC issue a comprehensive clarification on the directive on SSE to all INTO members, DES, Inspectorate, NCCA and PDST;
(ii) this clarification should clearly outline the directive’s position with regard to the introduction of the new language programme through the SSE model while the directive is in place;

c. further demands that the NCCA postpone the implementation of the new maths curriculum until the Primary Language Curriculum has been fully implemented.

INTO 150th Anniversary

Congress:

a. notes that the INTO is the longest established teachers’ union on the island of Ireland and one of the oldest in the world, and will celebrate its 150th Anniversary in 2018;

b. mandates the CEC to mark this significant milestone appropriately by organising commemorative events, including at Congress 2018; and

c. requests all national committees and all branches and districts to give consideration to appropriate local commemorations of the role of the INTO in advancing teachers’ and education interests over the years.

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