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May/June 2017

INTO in the Media

Carlow homeless kids suffering as deadline missed - Carlow Courier
27 June 2017
Homeless families in Carlow and elsewhere are to remain in hotel accommodation after the July 1 deadline set by previous Housing Minister Simon Coveney... The Principal of St. Patrick's de la Salle primary school in Kilkenny, Mr. Joe McKeown, said there were more than 2,500 homeless children in the country and this "is certainly something that's being reflected locally". Speaking at the recent INTO Conference in Belfast, he said children, who were homeless, "are coming in to schools every day, children who are living in hotels with their families" and he confirmed it was happening in Carlow and Kilkenny. He said: "While some of the delivery of some of the accommodation solutions will stretch beyond the July 1 deadline, it's a considerable achievement to be able to have a clear picture on the pathway out of commercial hotels for virtually all of those families.

Hens help pupils to crack life's code - Irish Independent
29 June 2017
A school project in a highly-populated, disadvantaged area shows the benefits of access to nature and animal care... One of the biggest responsibilities of an education system is to support children to overcome any disadvantage in their young lives so that their abilities can shine through... According to the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, "unmet socio-emotional needs are the greatest barrier to a child's learning"...

Are plans to teach coding in schools realistic? - The Last Word, TodayFM
... Richard Brutons plans to introduce coding into primary schools by September 2019, John Boyle INTO President discusses... (move to 2:45)

Teachers say plans to teach children coding ‘not realistic’ - Irish Times
27 June 2017
New subject due in primary schools within two years under Government digital strategy...John Boyle, president of the INTO teachers’ union said the digital plan “is long on ambition but critically short of resources”. He said “at present a handful of primary schools have high-speed broadband. This has been promised to primary schools for years and yet there is no plan in place to roll out this connectivity to more than 3,000 primary schools”...

Gan aon chinneadh déanta ag an INTO go fóill faoi cheist an liúntais Gaeltachta i scoileanna nach bhfuil ag iarraidh ‘stádas’ Gaeltachta -
21 June 2017
Níor chuir 30% de scoileanna atá lonnaithe i gceantar Gaeltachta isteach ar aitheantas mar scoil Ghaeltachta roimh an chéad sprioclá an tseachtain seo caite. Níl aon chinneadh déanta ag an INTO go fóill faoi cheist an liúntais Gaeltachta i gcás múinteoirí atá ag obair i scoileanna atá lonnaithe sa Ghaeltacht oifigiúil ach a bheartaíonn gan cur isteach ar stádas Gaeltachta...

‘It’s an education stealth tax’ – The Irish Sun
13 June 2017
The Department of education knows when it comes to primary schools it can part-fund schools and rely on charity to keep the show on the road. Each and every year primary schools have to find money to meet ordinary day-to-day running costs. There’s one reason and one reason alone as to why schools have to take on fundraising activities or ask parents for money, and that’s government underfunding.  At primary level government gives schools less than a euro per pupil per day for school running costs. That goes nowhere near meeting the real running costs such as heating, light and electricity, cleaning, insurance, office expenses and classroom equipment. To keep the doors open for the full school year, schools have to ask parents or the local community to make up the difference... This happens through so-called voluntary contributions or fundraising... It’s a local education stealth tax on parents and families. It is entirely unacceptable. School running costs should be fully met by the Department of Education. Relying on parents to make up the annual shortfall must stop. Education is not a charity and it is time the State funded the real costs of education...

Crisis’ due to mismatch of teachers and subjects - Irish Examiner
10 June 2017
...The issue of substitute teachers was identified by the working group as a major issue at primary level where, the report said, informal arrangements for schools to locate substitutes are less than effective...The INTO repeated its call on the Department of Education to establish panels of substitute teachers who would be available to cover teacher absences in their area on short notice...

INTO recommends pay deal rejection to members - Irish Examiner
10 June 2017
…Ms Nunan said the INTO went into the talks to make progress on pay restoration, pay equality, the protection of pensions and the payment of long-standing pay award to primary principals. “While there has been some progress in these talks, there has not been tangible progress on pay equality,” she said. The INTO also said that primary principals have been waiting more than 10 years for the payment of an independently awarded pay “uplift” to tackle the pay disparity between primary and post primary principals…

INTO recommends its members reject proposed new public service pay deal - Irish Independent
June 9 2017
The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation is recommending that its members reject the proposed new public service pay deal. INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said the decision of the union executive was  based on the “failure of the proposed agreement to progress the issue of pay equality.” The INTO, which represents 36,000 teachers, will begin its ballot next week.

Primary school teacher union to urge rejection of pay deal - Irish Times
9 June 2017
...The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation said it is to recommend a rejection of the deal to its 36,000 members who will be balloted next week...In a statement on Friday, the INTO executive said its decision to recommend a rejection was based on the “failure of the proposed agreement to progress the issue of pay equality”. “Notwithstanding progress to date on pay equality, the recent pay talks were an opportunity to draw a line under pay discrimination and right a wrong imposed on new entrants since 2011,” general secretary Sheila Nunan said...

Trainee and retired teachers will be asked to plug acute staffing gaps - Irish Times
9 June 2017
Trainee and retired teachers will be used to tackle an acute shortage of qualified staff in schools from next September...Both primary and secondary schools have reported that there is a growing “crisis” in finding substitute cover and qualified teachers in key subject areas...While there is not a problem with the supply of teachers emerging from colleges each year, unions such as the INTO say the emigration of young teachers – especially to the Middle East – is a key factor behind shortages.

Cutting and pasting with a scissors and brush - Irish Independent
7 June 2017
Drawing, writing, cutting and pasting (using scissors and brushes rather than a mouse!) and doing jigsaws are not just fun activities for young children. They are some of the ways in which fine motor skills are developed from the earliest years. Primary teachers have been warning for some time that technology and modern living have been having a negative effect on some children…

Stop pretending that taking kids out of school for fun in sun is 'educational' - Irish Independent
7 June 2017
When I was younger, I'd have to have my head hanging off before I'd be allowed to miss school. Absenteeism was as rare as hen's teeth in our house...By the way, it's not illegal for parents to take their chiild out of school during term time, but if they miss more than 20 days in a year, it must be reported to the National Educational Welfare Board. However the INTO has warned the real damage can be done when children miss chunks of their early school life.

Should homework end as sun shines on? – Irish Independent
31 May 2017
... "It can and it often is," says Peter Mullan of the INTO. He says "you frequently get teachers who ease off on the written homework as we get nearer the summer. There's no departmental stipulation on how much or how little homework must be given, so it's discretionary. You do find however, that parents, even for young children, are in favour of written homework. It seems they feel their child might fall behind without it."...

'We cannot stand for it any longer' - Young teachers claim they're being driven abroad by pay system - Irish Independent
31 May 2017
...Primary school teachers will gather at 4:30pm today at a protest organised by the INTO, where they will lobby for the restoration of pay cuts...Talks are ongoing to negotiate a new Landsdowne Road agreement and are expected to be finalised early next month. The INTO has said that the restoration of pay equality is a red-line issue and that further talks will be rejected without movement on this...

Hundreds of teachers take part in protest calling for equal pay -
31 May 2017
Teachers who qualified after 2011 are still on lower pay than their colleagues. Primary school teachers say they will not accept anything less from the ongoing public pay talks than a return to equal pay...

Call for ‘fair pay’ for new teachers during Dáil protest - Irish Times
31 May 2017
Recently qualified woman had ‘high hopes’ for job but has had to consider emigration due to salary... About 300 teachers gathered for the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation demonstration, with the union’s vice president Joe Killeen saying it was “unjustifiable” that some were victims of “inequality”...

Teachers to protest pay at rally outside Leinster House - Irish Examiner
30 May 2017
Primary school teachers are taking to the streets of Dublin today for a pay protest. INTO members from Dublin will hold a rally outside Leinster House this afternoon, calling for an end to lower pay scales for new teachers. As the National pay talks continue, the union said the reasons for austerity-era pay cuts no longer exist...

Stop pretending that taking kids out of school for fun in sun is 'education' - The Herald
26 May 2017
...However the Irish National Teachers' Organisation has warned the real damage can be done when children miss chunks of their early school life...

Migrants need more help with English - Irish Independent
24 May 2017
But the INTO says the number of English language support teachers in schools was slashed by 1000 in the recession - and the numbers have never recovered... Peter Mullan, INTO assistant general secretary, said: "This meant that schools could tackle language barriers and within a couple of years, the children were able to access the curriculum reasonably well...

Nurses don't bake cakes to pay for heating - why must schools? - Irish Independent
17 May 2017
In my opinion John Boyle, President INTO - Budget day is still five months away but planning for the funding of vital public services has already started in Government departments...

36 in a Primary School Classroom - Radio Kerry
17 May 2017
John Boyle, President of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, spoke after a listener contacted Jerry to express concerns about plans in her child’s school to increase classroom sizes to 36...

School bans spinners – Irish Daily Mirror
17 May 2017
... It is thought the unnamed primary school in Co. Wicklow made the move because children could not focus while in class. A spokeswoman for the INTO said it was up to individual schools to decide when and how the toys are used by their pupils...

Schools in a spin over fidget spinner craze - Irish Examiner
16 May 2017
The decision was taken, not because the devices were dangerous, but because children in the school could not put them down in the classroom... A spokeswoman for the INTO said the body was aware of the craze when asked about schools taking the step to ban them. “We are aware that fidget spinners are currently very popular. It’s a matter for individual schools to decide if, how, and when fidget spinners are to be used in school...

The latest toy craze has been banned from many UK classrooms - and is selling out here - Irish Independent
8 May 2017
They are marketed as a stress-reliever to help children with learning difficulties concentrate in class... In Ireland, the INTO has said it is aware of the popularity of the devices, and that it is up to each school to decide whether they are allowed in the classroom...

This 'must-have' toy has been banned in some UK schools and is selling out here -
5 May 2017
Irish schools may follow suit if fidget spinners result in bullying... A spokesperson for the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation told they’re aware of the toy’s popularity here, saying that banning them is a matter for individual schools... There are plenty of examples over the years of children being bullied over not having a ‘must-have’ toy... Schools deal with this routinely...

INTO Post - Connacht Tribune
5 May 2017
Ballygar man Tommy Greally has been elected the new regional represenative for Galway/Roscommon INTO. Tommy who is well known in GAA circles is Principal of Lavally NS, Tuam and will now represent teachers from the region on the national executive and follow the footsteps of a previous parishioner Brian Hynes (Newbridge and Dunmore).