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Media Coverage

Teachers welcome Dáil vote on online safety - Irish Daily Mail
18 May 2018
Teachers and doctors are among those who have given a warm welcome to the digital age of consent being set at 16... The INTO which represents primary school teachers, also advocated for 16. Yesterday a spokesman said INTO welcomed the decision that came in the House on Wednesday afternoon. She said: 'INTO takes the view that an approach that maximises parental consent and online security is most appropriate. 'I think it's important that parents have an awareness of what their children are doing online and should have a say on that'.

Irish schools banning students from running in yard over accident fears - Irish Independent
17 May 2018
Many schools are concerned about a litigious culture in Irish society... Meanwhile, Maeve McCafferty, an education and research official with the Irish National Teachers Organisation told the committee said recreational spaces are becoming more and more limited. “It’s not a widespread practice, but we have heard anecdotal evidence of the no-running policy in the yard but unfortunately, again, we are operating in a culture of litigation. A board of management are very exposed as a consequence,” she told the committee...

Digital Age of Consent - Irish Daily Mail
15 May 2018
Why age should be higher: sexual abuse, complexity, bullying... INTO, which represents 36,000 primary school teachers has made its stance very clear on the issue, strongly advocating a digital age of consent of 16. In November 2016, the INTO wrote to the head of data protection at the Department of the Taoiseach stating that the digital age of consent should be 16. The union told the Irish Daily Mail yesterday that it formed its view because of the effect social media has on children. "We stated that INTO believed that the national legislation should be set at the upper age limit of 16 years,' the union said. "We noted that schools endeavour to teach pupils to use digital technologies safely...but that teachers have expressed concern regarding the negative impact of digital activity on young people. 'In light of the increasing incidence of cyber-bullying, the INTO took the view that an approach that ensures maximum parental consent and online security was the most appropriate.'

Group denies funding influence - Irish Daily Mail
15 May 2018
The Children's Rights Alliance has been one of the most vocal supporters of the Government's plan to set the digital age of consent at 13... However, not all members agree with the alliance's stance. The INTO and TUI teacher unions - both of which are members - believe the age of digital consent should be set higher than 13.

Call For Pressure To Be Kept On For School Refurbishments In Clare - clarefm
10 May 2018
The Clare-based President of the INTO insists the pressure needs to be kept on to ensure that schools here in need of refurbishment aren’t left on the long finger...

Parents kept in dark over primary teacher shortages, staff say - Irish Times
6 May 2018
Often no choice than to use special needs staff to plug gaps – at expense of most vulnerable pupils... Teachers’ unions understand the difficult position many principals and teachers find themselves in. “Schools are dealing with the current substitute shortage in a variety of ways,” says John Boyle, former president of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation. “These include engaging a qualified teacher where available, engaging a second-level qualified teacher and asking or begging a retired colleague to step in and fill the vacancy...

School ethos 'should not dictate sex education' - Irish Independent
2 May 2018
Teachers and students have called for an end to the days when a school's religious ethos can dictate how it teaches sex education...Teacher union representatives also said the relationship between school ethos and a State curriculum needed to be addressed. Maeve McCafferty of the INTO said ethos could affect the delivery of RSE and that children should have a right to age-appropriate factual information...

Teachers' workloads turning Northern Ireland schools into pressure cookers, claims union - Belfast Telegraph
30 Apr 2018
Growing workloads are having a severe impact on Northern Ireland's schools, turning them into pressure cookers, a conference will hear today. Hundreds of teachers will gather in Fermanagh to hear the chairperson of the INTO address delegates on the impact of budget cuts, increased work, inspection reports and school closures. Dorothy McGinley, chairperson of INTO's northern committee, will spell out the deepening crisis at the union's annual northern conference at the Lough Erne Resort...

Tallanstown remembers the influential figure of Vere Foster - Dundalk Democrat
27 Apr 2018
...Vere Foster, the founding President of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation and a supporter of 1,400 primary schools in Ireland, was an extraordinary person with great conviction who recognised the importance of education and exhibited a passion and unfaltering commitment to improving the quality of teaching...

Clare FM - News
24 Apr 2018
The Clare President of the INTO insists the level of state funding for primary schools is “insufficient and inadequate”...

Dubai schools are looking for teachers and the perks are unbelievable -
21 Apr 2018
Teachers in Ireland are not getting what they deserve...John Boyle of INTO told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier this month that "our patience is running thin". "The cuts to the teachers were disproportionate...We have more cuts to fight than anyone else," he added...

School puts something special into education - Irish Independent
19 Apr 2018
Principal Joe McKeown is proud of his three special classes for pupils with autism, but he is prouder again when he walks in and finds one of the classrooms empty. "It is empty because they are in the mainstream class. Some of them are here only two years and nobody would have expected that they would have been spending as much time in mainstream," he says...

The inequality in teacher pay is divisive and wrong - Irish Times
14 Apr 2018
Teachers are expected to remedy the ills of society while younger teachers must put up with unjust rates of pay...Delegates Graham Fitzpatrick, Ed Platt, John Paul Phelan and Michael Weed call for equal pay for all teachers at the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation’s annual congress in Killarney. Photograph: Moya Nolan...

Clare FM - News
13 Apr 2018
The Clare-based President of the INTO has called for greater clarity surrounding investment in schools. It comes as Education Minister Richard Bruton has announced that 42 new schools are to be built over the next 4 years to deal with demand...

'Teachers need more time to teach' says deputy principal at Limerick school - Limerick Leader
13 Apr 2018
Teachers must be given the time to teach as initiative overload and excessive paperwork are taking up huge amounts of time and stifling spontaneity, according to Sexton Street CBS deputy principal Michael O’Sullivan. Mr O’Sullivan made the comments during the annual INTO Congress in Killarney... Meanwhile, secretary of Limerick City INTO Ann McMahon also spoke to delegates about the importance of the Visiting Teachers’ Service... Pay equality is the union’s top priority, INTO president John Boyle told the annual Congress. “Young teachers received assurance that they would be treated with dignity and respect in terms of equal pay,” he said...

Educating for Equality in Northern Ireland - University Times
11 Apr 2018
As Northern Ireland reflects on the Good Friday Agreement, a new project wants to ensure the next generation can achieve full equality...President of the INTO, John Boyle, describes how educational underachievement can occur in any society. He explains that often students from disadvantaged backgrounds “have dropped out of the system long before entry to third level”, as they have “either literally left the system or mentally and emotionally disengaged from formal education”...

Three teachers unions unite behind pay strategy - The Echo
10 Apr 2018
The president of the INTO, who has spent his teaching career working in primary schools in the county, was at the helm of the INTO as the country’s three teachers’ unions united, for the first time in 32 years, to call for pay equality for all teachers...John Boyle, the president of the INTO and principal of St Colmcille’s Junior National School in Knocklyon, told The Echo: “One of the challenges facing teachers at the moment is the fact that so many teachers aren’t getting equal pay for equal work.” Mr Boyle added: “For the first time in 32 years the three teachers’ unions have united behind a pay strategy...

Kerry losing teachers fast to urban centres - The Kerryman
7 Apr 2018
...Principal of St Oliver's National School, Ballycasheen, Killarney, Rory Darcy a member of the Killarney branch of the INTO, said that this issue needs to be addressed in counties like Kerry: "It is hard to find sustainable teaching work in rural areas. There is a huge lack of substitute teachers in Kerry because they are moving to other areas. "We can't have teachers sitting at home waiting for a call for work. The more rural the area the more difficult it is to get substitute cover." He says that a substitute supply panel for a cluster of schools is needed urgently in Kerry...

Parents to be asked if smartphones should be allowed in school - Irish Times
4 Apr 2018
Parents and students are to be consulted on whether smartphones should be allowed in schools. The use of smartphones and tablet devices among young people has been a source of rising concern, with some campaigners calling for an outright ban...The INTO has previously played down calls for a ban on the basis that most primary schools have long-standing policies to stop mobile phone-use in schools. It says most insist phones are left at home. In cases where parents provide a reason for their child having a phone, many primary schools require phones to be handed into the school office during the day or that phones be turned off during the school day. “In general schools report a high degree of compliance with such policies,” an INTO spokesman said...

Broad welcome for school sex education review - Irish Examiner
3 Apr 2018
...However, teachers have warned that any review must be accompanied by an overhaul of the way in which schools are funded and supported to provide the programme. John Boyle, president of the INTO, which represents primary school teachers, said a review of the programme was timely after 20 years. “It certainly needs a shake-up in the way it’s supported in terms of the lack of resources for it and the lack of teacher training,” he said. “There’s a significant dearth of official support for teacher training in the area.” Mr Boyle said one of the challenges facing schools was the variety of view among parents but he said it was not insurmountable. “Schools need time and space to be able to work through those issues so that they can arrive at a common position that everyone can support,” he said. “It’s challenging but it can be done if the Department puts the resources and the time into it. “There is a lot of good practice out there already and some of those could be used as models of good practice to assist others.”

Nine Til Noon Show - Highland Radio
3 Apr 2018
Announcement of School sex education review. Interview with Síne Friel Official, INTO

42% of student teachers consider dropping out due to financial pressures - Leitrim Observer
2 Apr 2018
The Union of Students in Ireland (USI), alongside trade unions ICTU, TUI, ASTI and INTO, have released a report detailing that 42% of student teachers consider dropping out of college due to financial pressures associated with work placement...John Boyle, INTO President, welcomed the report stating, “The escalating costs for student teachers on placement is a matter of concern to the INTO. While school placement is an integral part of initial teacher education, additional time spent in schools needs to be accompanied by support for student teachers to compensate for expenses such as transport, clothing, classroom resources and materials and loss of part time earnings while on placement. Without government action on this there is a very real fear that success in school placement could become a factor of ability to pay rather than ability to teach. The INTO welcomes the USI Report which clearly and accurately outlines the various costs faced by student teachers on placement.”