3rd April 2019
Voice of primary teachers excluded from new Working Group on managing challenging behaviour.
On 2 April, Minister McHugh announced a call for views on the development of guidelines for schools on the use of physical intervention for the prevention and management of crisis situations. In addition, the Minister established an expert Working Group to develop guidelines for consideration and agreement by the department. The exclusion of representatives from the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation suggests the department isn’t interested in the experiences of our members, primary school teachers and omits an important voice.
In primary schools, teachers and pupils have been the subject of assaults and violence carried out by pupils and others in the school community. INTO has been to the forefront in standing up for our members and bringing this issue firmly onto the public agenda. In recent years, the INTO was successful in securing assault leave for our members who may need time to recover following an assault in a school. Indeed, we have brought this issue to the department on a number of occasions.
INTO General Secretary Designate John Boyle said, “This is a sensitive and challenging area in primary schools all over the country. Our members work at the coalface and offer unparalleled insights on this topic. It is outrageous that once again we should find ourselves excluded from such pertinent discussions. Thorough, comprehensive and representative consultation must be a key ingredient in any substantive policy proposal that stands to impact our members. INTO are demanding our immediate inclusion.”