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April 2016

INTO in the Media

Union argues equal pay case for young teachers - Limerick Leader
30 Apr 2016
The vice-president of the INTO, John Boyle has said that the pay cuts imposed on new teachers since 2012 will do long-term damage to the education system..."The government's decision to implement a lower salary scale for new teachers is an affront to the principle of equal pay for equal work. In the past, the INTO has fought and won over time, a number of equal pay battles relating to gender, martial status and qualifications. The INTO will fight to overturn this unfairness no matter how long it takes. The issue of equal pay will be the rallying call for this generation of teachers."

The Folklore of West Limerick: The Folklore Commission and the Schools' Collection (1937-38) - Vale Star
28 Apr 2016
Fáilte Chuig an tríú halt sa tsraith seo. Welcome to the third article in this series on the Gaelic heritage of west Limerick. This week we look at the béaloideas or folklore of the area... In the 1930s a great effort was being made to try and preserve the stories, legends, tales etc. that were being told in every part of the country. The Irish Folklore Commission, in partnership with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, set up a project where the national school children of Ireland would become collectors of Irish folklore, including stories, songs, superstitutions, proverbs and lots of similar material. Most of the children collected from their parents, grandparents and other older members of their communities. The material was gathered between 1937 and 1938 and it resulted in over 500,000 pages being collected. The Schools' Collection, as it is known, is currently housed in University College Dublin (

Schools to share €30m for essential repairs - Irish Independent
29 Apr 2016
... Last week, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) criticised the delay in making the announcement, stating that schools needed time to make arrangements to have work carried out over the summer months...

South East Radio Morning Mix
28 Apr 2016
A quarter of primary school children are in 'supersize' classes. The union representing primary school teachers says a quarter of children are now in super size classes, Vice President of the INTO, John Boyle.

INTO Congress remembers Margaret Skinnider - The Northern Standard
28 Apr 2016
Margaret Skinnider INTO President in 1956 who fought with the Citizen Army in the College of Surgeons in 1916 was remembered at Congress in Wexford by Dr. Niamh Puirseil... She was a dedicated teacher but found it difficult to get a job, eventually getting one with the Sisters of Charity in Kings Inn Street in 1927 where she joined the INTO. Her friend Nora Connolly O'Brien remembered that she would not tolerate any teacher in the school not being a member.

Lynn says it as he sees it - Opinion
... We have wonderful scheme called "The Summer Works Scheme". Its purpose is to devolve funding to school authorities to undertake small-scale works, which can be carried out mainly during the summer months to avoid disrupting the operation of the schools. A total of 40m was allocated for building projects in 2016 in the budget. Schools submitted applications to the Department in November 2015. Acting Minister for Education & Skills Jan O Sulllivan has yet to announce details of a Summer Works Scheme for primary schools. Schools need to know if their applications for funding under the scheme are sucessful so that they can make the necessary plans for building work to be done. Schools are aware that heating systems are on their last legs or a leaking roof needs to be repaired but there is no indication from government what funding will be available to carry out this work over the summer. If the Minister was on top of her brief one would be confident that this would be addressed.

We do not need religion to calibrate our moral compass (Opinion) - Irish Times Health & Family
26 Apr 2016
...“Myself and My Family” is a core unit of the SPHE primary school curriculum. Last year the INTO developed a resource to help teachers discuss different family formations including those of LGBT couples. “Different Families, Same Love” consists of lesson ideas for all children from junior infants to sixth class and a teaching aid poster depicting many different types of families including: single male and female parents, two women with children, two men with children, multi- ethnic family groups, older and younger couples with no children and so on. The INTO developed the resource because of widespread homophobic bullying in Irish schools.

School’s squeeze – The Irish Sun
26 Apr 2016
The primary school teachers’ union has slammed the Government over ‘supersize’ classes. The INTO says over 130,000 kids are in classes of 30 or more. Vice president John Boyle, principal of St Colmcille’s National School, Knocklyon in Dublin, said “as I was a few pupils under the figure for appointing a new teacher” he was left with classes of 34 pupils.

Midwest Radio - 17:00 News    
25 Apr 2016
One in five primary school children in Mayo are being taught in super-sized classes. One in five primary school children in Mayo are being taught in classes of 30 or more, as INTO calls on next government to reduce class-sizes.

Clare FM - 17:00 News    
25 Apr 2016
Super-sized classes are having a negative impact on the education of children. A Clare teacher insists that super-sized classes are having a negative impact on the education of the county's youngsters - Brendan Horan INTO Executive member.

Kildare FM -  News    
25 Apr 2016
INTO: Primary School Classes Should Be Reduced To 22 Pupils...At the moment, the Department of Education provides a teacher for every 27 pupils in a school. But Vice President of the INTO John Boyle, says this figure is well above the recommended international best practice of 20 pupils.

Radio Kerry - 13:00 News    
25 Apr 2016
Over 3,200 Kerry primary school students are in classes of over 30 pupils. Figures published in the Irish Independent from the Department of Education show one-in-five Kerry pupils are in overcrowded classrooms. Peter Mullan, Media Officer with the INTO.

Galway Bay FM - 13:00 News    
25 Apr 2016
The INTO is calling on the next Government to reduce the size of primary school classes to 22 pupils.

Midlands 103, Limerick 95FM and Cork 96FM - News   
25 Apr 2016
INTO calls for a renewed focus on reducing class sizes. The INTO is calling on the next government to reduce the size of primary school classes to 22 pupils - Vice President of INTO John Boyle. 

Highland FM - 13:00 and 15:00 News    
25 Apr 2016
INTO calls for a renewed focus on reducing class sizes - The INTO says a quarter of Irish primary pupils are in supersize classes. John Boyle, Vice President of the INTO.

East Coast Radio - 13:00 News    
25 Apr 2016
More than 130,000 children nation wide are in classes of 30 or more. It's been claimed that almost 4,500 pupils in Wicklow are in primary class rooms of 30 or more. Interview with Vice-president of INTO and Principal of St Colmcille"s National School John Boyle.  

Clare FM - News
25 Apr, 2016
INTO Clare Rep Describes Class Sizes As National Shame. The INTO's representative in Clare has described the number of children being taught in supersized classes as a "national shame." INTO's Clare representative Brendan Horan.

Galway Bay FM - 11:00 News    
25 Apr 2016
A Quarter Of Children Are In Supersize Classes.- The Irish National Teachers Organisation says primary school classes should be reduced to 22 pupils. INTO Vice President John Boyle.

Tipp FM - News
25 Apr 2016
INTO calls for decrease in class sizes. The Irish National Teachers' Organisation is calling on the next government to reduce the size of primary school classes to 22 pupils...

98FM - 09:00 News
25 Apr 2016
A Quarter Of Children Are In Supersize Classes. One in four children are in supersized classes, according to a teaching union, the INTO. INTO Vice President John Boyle.

NewsTalk - The Breakfast Show
25 Apr 2016
Supersize classes - John Boyle, vice-president of the INTO and Principal of St. Colmcilles National School in Knocklyon, joins the programme to discuss supersize' classes.

Clare FM - 09:00 News    
25 Apr 2016
3260 School Children Squeezed In Supersized Classes. Three thousand two hundred and sixty primary school children in Clare are in supersized classes this year. INTO Vice President John Boyle.

LMFM and South East Radio - News
25 Apr 2016
One In Four Children Are In Supersized Classes. The union representing primary school teachers says a quarter of children are in supersized classes.

FM 104, 4FM and Shannonside - News
25 Apr 2016
The union representing primary school teacher says a quarter of children are in super-size classes. At the moment the Department of Education provides a teacher for every 27 people. Interview with  John Boyle, Vice President of the INTO and Principal of St Colmcille's, National School in Dublin.

130,000 primary pupils are being squeezed into 'supersized' classes - Irish Independent
25 Apr 2016
Almost 130,000 children are in supersized primary classes of 30 or more in the current school year. As enrolments to primary schools continue to rise, so too does the number of pupils squeezed into very large classes. About one-in-four children - or 24pc - are in classes of at least 30 pupils, according to latest figures from the Department of Education. While the one-in-four ratio has remained steady in recent years, the sheer growth in school enrolments means that more pupils are being affected...The INTO has ensured that class size remains high on the political agenda with an intensive lobbying campaign. INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said it was clear from the figures that the problem of supersized classes was getting worse. She said tackling the issue had to be a priority for the new government, and the scale of the problem needed a significant response. Ms Nunan said smaller classes made a difference to children, allowing them to get more individual attention from the teacher. "In smaller classes there are fewer distractions, each child gets more time and resources, and teachers can keep track of how each child is doing," she said...

'How do you get around to listening to 34 pupils reading?' - Irish Independent
25 Apr 2016
Even basic, but essential, tasks like listening to each child's reading is a challenge in large classes, explains Gerry Brown, principal of St Mary's senior national school, Blessington, Co Wicklow...

1916 then and now - Sunday Business Post-Magazine
24 Apr 2016
The Royal College of Surgeons: Mallin and Markievicz cross with the Citizen Army from the Green to this building, and remain there for the rest of the week. However, like the large garrison close by in the Jacobs factory (commanded by Thomas MacDonagh), the college is not subject to direct assault or bombardment. Scottish Citizen Army member Margaret Skinnider shoots half a dozen soldiers while sniping from the roof, and is badly wounded while trying to torch houses in Harcourt Street. She will, in later life, become president of the INTO. Mallin and Markievicz surrender on Sunday to Captain Harry de Courcy Wheeler, whose brother is a fellow of the College and whose wife is a first cousin of Markievicz. Before his execution, Mallin requests that a son and daughter enter the religious life, and they do. His son, Father Michael Mallin SJ is now in his 103rd year and living in Hong Kong, the only surviving child of an executed 1916 leader.

INTO hits out at delay in works details - Evening Echo
23 Apr 2016
The Irish National Teachers Organisation has strongly criticised continuing delays by the Department of Education and Skills to announce details of Summer Works Scheme grants for primary schools...INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said that hundreds of schools need this information so that they can make the necessary plans for building work to be done. “Many schools are aware that heating systems are on their last legs or a leaking roof needs to be repaired but there is no indication from government what funding will be available to carry out this work over the summer. “It is vital that sanction for projects is given in time to allow for proper planning by schools. “Arrangements need to be made now for tendering and the appointment of contractors. “This cannot be done successfully unless government gives an immediate green light to the scheme.” Ms Nunan has called on acting Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan to announce details promptly: “Indeed many are beginning to wonder if there is going to be a scheme at all this summer.”

Teachers want extra time off if holidays clash with baby leave – Irish Daily Mail
22 Apr 2016
A group of teachers has gone to an employment tribunal seeking extra days off in cases where their 15 weeks of holidays overlap with the six months of paid maternity leave they are entitled to. Teachers were previously given up to 30 additional days’ leave to make up for this, but Ruairi Quinn ended the practice two years ago, saying that other public servants weren’t entitled to it. The move would mean fewer stand-in teachers would need to be hired and this could save the taxpayer as much as €20million a year, said the then education minister, at the time. However, 11 teachers claimed this was unfair and took their case to a rights commissioner, who ruled against them last year...Their union, the INTO, described Mr Quinn’s original decision as ‘unfair’ and said that as 60% of its members are under 40 years of age, and 85% are women, ‘it affects a lot of people’... A spokesman for the INTO, which represents the 11 claimants, said last night: ‘We had a hearing in 2014 and got a decision in 2015 from the rights commissioner. ‘The commissioner ruled that it didn’t breach the act so we appealed it. ‘The issue is of serious concern to teachers – 60% of our members are under 40 and 85% are women so simple sums would show you that it affects a lot of people. ‘We see it as unfair. ‘Although teachers have good holidays by comparison with other workers, what they don’t have is flexibility. ‘There is a lack of flexibility here in that a worker in another area can take their annual leave at the end of their maternity leave but that is not available to teachers because their leave is fixed. ‘Although it is good by standards of other occupations it is inflexible,’ added the spokesman…

President Jordan gets tumultuous welcome – Anglo Celt
21 Apr 2016
The new President of the INTO, Rosena Jordan, was given a tumultuous welcome in her home school last Tuesday morning as she returned to work following her election to the role at the helm of the teachers’ union. Rosena is the 116th President of the INTO and the 17th woman to hold the position...She told The Anglo-Celt that she was “privileged and honoured” to return to school as INTO President. “The energy in the room today is just tremendous,” she remarked. Her message for the pupils, following her appointment, was: “Anything they want to achieve in life, they can achieve. They need to work hard. Nothing will come easily to you but, if you have your goal and strive towards it and work hard, you can attain.” The Castlebar native, now living in Kingscourt, says the number one issue on the agenda is ‘pay equalisation’, arising out of the fact that newly qualified teachers have been paid less since 2011. “They are doing the same work as us. They are our colleagues in the staff room and they do the same activities...All this work is being done while they are being paid at a lower rate,” said Ms Jordan, highlighting the two-tier pay structure in the profession. The new President says another important issue is the need for the restoration of the ‘posts of responsibility’, which were abolished in 2009. “We will also be looking for equal capitation funding in primary schools in comparison with our colleagues at second level to pay for the heating, lighting and caretaking. Children, when they go to second level, are worth about one third more of the funding than they are in primary schools to the Boards of Management. That is totally wrong and every child will go to primary school,” pointed out Ms Jordan. “We want lower class sizes. We want to give our children the best opportunity that they can have to get education, which is their right. To do this, we need our children in classes of 20 to 25,” she continued.

Make PE a priority - Irish Daily Mail
19 Apr 2016
The child obesity epidemic is one of the greatest threats facing the coming generations. According to the INTO, primary school pupils in this country spend less time in PE classes than the average student in other OECD nations. The new education minister must make increasing the time allocated in schools to PE a priority. Our children deserve nothing less.

Do more to promote PE in schools - Irish Daily Mail
19 Apr 2016
Teachers have urged the Government to do more to promote PE in schools - and criticised a proposal from the health and Education departments for an 'Active School Week'...But teacher representative bodies say the Government should focus on improving facilities that allow year-round access to PE rather than promoting physical activity for one week. Rosena Jordan, president of the INTO said some schools struggle to meet the current target of one hour of exercise per week due to poor facilities. She told the Irish Daily Mail: 'Government needs to take a more proactive approach to children's health and wellbeing beyond promoting activity for one week in the year. Irish primary pupils spend only 4% of school time on PE compared to an average of 9% in OECD countries. 'The primary school curriculum allows for one hour per week to be spent on PE. But many schools cannot meet this target every week because of poor facilities and resources in schools.'...Ms Jordan said: 'One in four children in Ireland is either overweight or obese. And the problem is getting worse. 'All schools should have a general purpose room or PE hall. But properly resourced schools can only do so much. Parents and government must step up to the mark as well. Not all physical activity can or should be located in schools. There are good arguments for more walking or cycling to and from school, less time spent on computer games and more counting of calories.'

Upholding teaching, not grading - Meath Chronicle
16 Apr 2016
Dear Sir, The author and historian Diarmuid Ferriter, in a keynote address given to over 700 delegates at the INTO Congress in Wexford on Tuesday 29 March described how the union of the 1940s and 1950s had to deal with "a smouldering resentment amongst its members against a rising tide of bureaucracy". That culture of bureaucracy can be attributed to the isolationist policies that were practiced by the churches and by the state at the time. Those isolationist policies have now been replaced by far-right policies that are alienating teachers on many fronts, not least pay equality for new entrants. The current school system is being drowned in a morass of ill-planned and under-resourced initiatives, and copious amounts of paperwork. These developments are set to create a system where the objective of teaching becomes grading rather than learning. The overwhelming denunciation of these policies by the majority of delegates at the congress, including more than 30 primary teachers working in schools in Meath, highlights the determination of today's teaching profession to uphold a system of education that can and will foster and inspire.
Yours, Colin Quigley

Ramelton, Rathmullan, Ardara, Loughanure - Donegal News
15 Apr 2016
INTO - Congratulations to John 'Owenie' Boyle of Mullaghduff on his recent elevation to the position of vice president of the INTO. A former pupil of Mullaghduff and Annagry National School, John is a son of Owenie and Brid Boyle. He is principal of St. Colmcille's JNS Knocklyon, Co Dublin, one of the country's largest schools.

Documenting the abandoned school houses of Ireland - Irish Examiner
9 Apr 2016
...In 1937, the Irish Folklore Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the INTO, initiated a revolutionary scheme in which schoolchildren were encouraged to collect and document folklore and local history from the eldest or most knowledgeable members of their household...

Teachers concerned about pay - Southern Star
9 Apr 2016
The annual teacher unions' conferences over the Easter holidays were comparatively quiet affairs this year without a Minister for Education to abuse and grandstand in front of due to a new government not being in place...The disparity in pay scales between older teachers and newly-qualified teachers, who feel with justification that they are being exploited, was the biggest issue raised at the conferences with the younger teachers having to make their voices heard above those of their more experienced counterparts who have tended to dominate the upper echelons of the unions' hierarchies. At the INTO conference, the more media-savvy newly qualified teachers stood out in their colourful T-shirts with placards demanding 'Equal Pay for Equal Work' to get their message across. Many of the younger teachers are more qualified academically nowadays, but because pay scales have been reduced, those teaching in Dublin especially can hardly afford to live there due to the high cost of renting in the capital. Others have difficulty getting contracts that would give them enough hours to earn a living wage.

INTO Primary school teacher - Irish Daily Mail
5 Apr 2016
The INTO wants to see its new-entrant teachers returned to a previous entrant salary of €40,000 - an almost €9,000 rise. The INTO of which Sheila Nunan, is the general secretary, will also be calling for the reversal of what it says has been a 15% pay cut to primary school funding over the last five years and a high quality broadband rollout.

An avalanche of pay claims - Irish Daily Mail
5 Apr 2016
As the Luas drivers' strikes rumble on, now gardai, nurses and bus and train drivers all call for salary increases of up to 25%...Peter Mullan of the INTO said: 'We want to see an end to the tiered pay system for new entrants. About 10% of teachers now, all recent entrants, are on lower pay scales because the previous government cut pay for new entrants. 'We would be one of the biggest groups affected because there was no recruitment in other areas of the public service. New teachers' earnings start at €31,000. This was previously very close to €40,000.' He said the INTO would be 'calling for old pay scales to be re-instated. 'On pay, we want to see an acceleration of pay restoration for everyone. Everyone in the public service is down around 15%. While the Lansdowne Road Agreement may bring back around 3% to 4% of that in 2018, we want to see that accelerated sooner than 2018, at a faster level,' Mr. Mullan added. The INTO will also be calling for the reversal of what it says has been a 15% cut to primary schools funding over the last five years, and for the rollout of quality broadband in all of our schools.

Long hot summer of discontent starts now - Sunday Business Post
3 Apr 2016
...The INTO is also demanding action on disparate salary rates. Unlike the ASTI and TUI, it signed up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement last year and is consequently bound not to take industrial actin over pay and conditions. Maire Lineen, an INTO branch officer and teacher at Scoil Mhuire Senior in Blakestown, Dublin said the atmosphere at congress this year was of "massive unity". "We've been told so often there is a recovery. An extra €3billion surplus," she said. "I cannot see how any government can stand over inequality. It's in the proclamation - every citizen is to be treated equally. Of all years, 2016 would be the right time to work with what Padraig Pearse proclaimed for the citizens of Ireland," she said. Alison Hayes, a 27year old teacher at Scoil Bhride Boys National School graduated in 2011. After a year subbing in about ten different schools when teachers were out sick, she landed a temporary job before going full-time. She is directly affected by the pay gap...

Moratorium is 'crippling' capacity to support students - Evening Echo
2 Apr 2016
...Elsewhere at their congress in Wexford, INTO who next week commence a programme of non-compliance with self-assessment in opposition to the continued promotion ban, argued that the moratorium "has had a devastating effect upon the ability of schools to deliver a child-centred education"...INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan welcomed the support shown by members for action, arguing that it was ban on promotion in primary schools as intolerable. She said it was clear from the result that teachers have had enough of being expected to run schools without the necessary resources and supports. "Teachers are not prepared to see the Department continually ramp up requirements and pressures on schools while ignorning a ban on promotion that has devasted school management structures.

Strikes back on track but many refuse to join in - Irish Independent
2 Apr 2016
Primary school teachers represented by INTO are also threatening strike action. "(Young teachers on €31,000 annual salaries) are finding it difficult to have a living wage in Dublin or any other urban area," according to its president, Emma Dineen. "It's an equality issue. You have teachers working side by side, doing the same work and not being paid the same wage."

Teachers affect our children's futures, so let's pay them well - Evening Echo
2 Apr 2016
It was the early eighties, and we were slap in the midst of another horrendous recession. I'd been in college for a bit of it, buffered by student life and blissfully ignorant of how bad things were. Until, that is, I graduated into the real world as a primary teacher...INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan was on the button when she said this week that young workers - including young teachers - paid the price for the lunacy of the banks and the government's mismanagement of the crisis.

Less drama at teacher conferences - but behind the scenes a crisis looms - Irish Independent
2 Apr 2016
Teacher conferences were short on the usual histrionics this year. The absence of a minister removed an important actor from the stage and with it, the loss of a dynamic that gives rise to the displays of amateur dramatics that we have come to associate with these events...

Donegal man is new vice president of the INTO - Donegal News
1 Apr 2015
Mullaghduff native John Boyle became the vice president of the INTO on Wednesday as the annual conference wound up. Mr Boyle is Principal of Ireland’s largest Primary School - St Colmcille’s in Knocklyon in Dublin which has 1,600 pupils on its roll. Speaking to the Donegal News shortly after his election in County Wexford, Mr Boyle was delighted to have been elected unopposed and was prepared for a busy year ahead. If normal procedure is followed he will be president of the INTO when it celebrates its 150th birthday in 2018...

Ennis branch of INTO demands equalisation - Clare Champion
1 Apr 2016
The former president of the INTO, Sean McMahon, has said the Ennis branch are “determined” that “full equalisation of pay” will be achieved...Speaking to The Clare Champion, Mr McMahon said Clare teachers are united in their desire for salary levels of new teachers to be restored to the January 2012 level. He said the Ennis branch had submitted a motion calling for the new government and new Minister for Education to restore the pay of newly-qualified teachers. According to Mr McMahon, delegates are “unanimously in support of equalisation of pay for newly qualified teachers” and are determined that it will happen and that the new administration will be made aware of the issue...Mr McMahon said the cut to new teachers’ pay is “an affront” to the core trade union principle of equal pay for equal work. “It is blatantly unfair and inequitable to pay workers differently for doing the same work. The INTO and other teacher unions oppose pay discrimination. We pledge to overturn it, no matter how long it takes,” he said...General secretary, Sheila Nunan said the INTO are working to see those cuts reversed. “Through the Landsdowne Road Agreement (LRA), an unwinding of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) Act has begun,” she said...

Midwest Radio - The Comment Line    
1 Apr 2016
Rosena Jordan, President of the INTO, joins the programme to talk about the changes she will bring for the benefit of the teachers organisation and education.