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July 2016

INTO in the Media

Calls for Teaching Council to strike a balance - The Clare Champion
29 July 2016
The INTO has called for "appropriate balance between professional standards and providing teachers with fair and due process in Fitness to Teach procedures". In response to the commencement on Monday of the Fitness to Teach measures for the teaching profession, Sheila Nunan, INTO general secretary, stated that she is "confident that the new provisions would demonstrate the commitment and adherence of the profession to the highest standards of practice".

New complaints system 'not about punishing teachers' - The Clare Champion
29 July 2016
A new system of adjudicating complaints against primary or second-level teachers is "not about punishing teachers", according to the West Clare man, who is chair of the new Investigation Committee. Sean McMahon was elected to the position of deputy chairperson of the Teaching Council, the professional standards body for the teaching profession, in April and as such is chairperson of the new Investigation Committee, a role he said he will take very seriously.

New mechanism to deal with teachers accused of incompetence or misconduct - TV3 Ireland AM
26 July 2016
A new mechanism came into force yesterday to deal with teachers who are accused of incompetence or misconduct. The Fitness to Teach provision was announced yesterday by Education Minister Richard Bruton. Video clip: Sheila Nunan, General Secretary of the INTO and Katherine Donnelly, Education Correspondent with the Irish Independent...

Fitness to Teach - Clare FM
26 July 2016
Bad teachers could soon be struck off under new rules which have come into effect. The education minister has signed a legal order ensuring those accused of misconduct or underperformance can be brought before a disciplinary hearing. Katherine Donnelly, Education Editor with The Irish Independent and Sean McMahon, principal of Mullagh National School, former President of INTO, deputy chair of Teaching Council of Ireland and chair of Teaching Council's investigations committee. Education Minister Richard Bruton...

Mullagh Principal Say New Rules Aren't About Punishment - Clare FM
26 July 2016
The Mullagh-based Deputy Chair of the Teaching Council of Ireland says new rules governing teachers are not about punishing those charged with educating our youth. Past President of the INTO Sean Mc Mahon, and Chair of the Teaching Council of Ireland's Investigations Committee...

Union wanted hearings to be held in private - Irish Independent
26 July 2016
INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said the council must strike a balance between professional standards and fair and due process. This was critical, she said, to maintain the confidence of the public...

Teachers: Fitness to Teach - RTE Radio 1 - Today with Sean O'Rourke
25 July 2016
Teachers who under perform or face accusations of serious misconduct could face disciplinary hearings. Under the so called fitness to teach provisions, being signed off today, parents and in some cases pupils will be able to make a complaint to the Teaching Council. In studio this morning was John Walsh, advisor to the Minister for Education Ruari Quinn and on the phone, Sheila Nunan, Secretary of INTO and Diarmaid de Paor deputy general secretary of ASTI...

Mechanism to deal with poor teacher performance -
25 July 2016
Teachers who are accused of misconduct or poor performance can be suspended or even banned under new measures announced today. Minister for Education Richard Bruton, Tomas O Ruairc, Director of Teaching Council and Sheila Nunan, Irish National Teachers' Organisation....

Clare INTO Gives Cautious Welcome To New Teacher Guidelines - Clare FM
25 July 2016
A Clare representative of the INTO says its vital that any teacher who is subject complaint has given a fair hearing. Brendan Horan from INTO and Director of the Teaching Council, Tomas O"Ruairc...

Teachers found guilty of misconduct could be banned from the classroom - Shannonside 13:00 News
25 July 2016
Teachers found guilty of misconduct could be banned from the classroom under new Fitness to Teach rules. Audio clip: Teaching Council Director Tomas O Ruairc; Audio clip: Kingscourt resident and President of the Irish National Teachers" Organisation, Rosena Jordon...

Introducing coding would require upgrade, says INTO - Irish Examiner
19 July 2016
Any move to introduce coding to the primary maths programme would require proper staff training and equipment for schools, a teachers’ union said...While acknowledging this is the appropriate stage to make such a proposal, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation says the minister should be willing to provide necessary support if it is adopted. “The easy part is suggesting coding be taught; the challenge for the minister will be to address the skills gap that there will be among teachers, provide the professional development and training needed to bridge that gap, and resource primary schools in terms of hardware and, particularly, connectivity”...

Bruton wants lessons in coding for primary school pupils - Drivetime RTE
18 July 2016
The Minister for Education and Skills has asked the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to consider how to introduce the teaching of coding in primary schools. The council is currently reviewing the primary school syllabus and is developing a new primary maths curriculum. Minister Richard Bruton cited initiatives such as CoderDojo as examples to form the NCCA's work. Della Kilroy reports. Eamonn Hodge of the Academy of Code, Bill Liao, Co-Founder of CoderDojo & Peter Mullan, INTO.     (move to 01:20:30 & also 01:55:45)

Finally! Coding will be taught in all schools - Irish Daily Mail
18 July 2016
...The move will see young children learing to create apps, games and websites in a 'creative and informal' environment, the Education Minister said...A spokesman for the Irish National Teachers' Organisatin welcomed the news, saying: "The mathematics curriculum is being reviewed so it is timely to examine this".

Primary school class size concern - The Meath Chronicle
16 July 2016
More than three quarters of Meath primary school students are taught in classes of 25 pupils or more, according to provisional results from the 2015/16 National School Annual Census... "It's been at its worst for a long time, hopefully things will start getting better," President of the INTO, Rosena Jordan said..."It's to the detriment of students to be in big or super sized classes because obviously they get less attention. There are more levels of distraction, more noise, and we are so inclusive in Irish schools now, with students of all varying abilities with each learning at his or her own pace, that can be problematic when you have a teacher dealing with 30 or more students in a room," said Ms. Jordan. Class sizes is an issue that is so important and reflects on all our schools, the teachers, the students and their learning. They only have this one course, they just go through that school that one time," Ms Jordan added.

One in six students in County Cavan taught in 'super-sized' classes of 30 plus - Anglo Celt
13 July 2016
One in six students in national schools in Co Cavan are being taught in so-called 'super-sized’ classes of 30 students or more, according to provisional results from the 2015/2016 National School Annual Census.... Kingscourt resident Ms Jordan, who has taught at the two-teacher Carrickleck National School in Virginia, and has represented the region on the INTO executive since 2008, says: “Irish classes are among the largest in the EU, second only to the UK. Reducing class sizes in primary schools was a key priority of the INTO’s pre-budget campaign 'Stand up for primary education’ and it will be again this September in our pre-Budget submissions”...

No country for young teachers: the two-tier pay problem - RTE Drivetime
12 July 2016
Teacher unions are not happy with the treatment their members are getting in the corridors of power. Especially high on the union agenda are pay and conditions of new entrants to the profession. Brian Lally reports on some teachers heading abroad to practice their profession. INTO General Secretary Sheila Nunan highlights why Irish teachers are moving overseas to work.     (move to 01:55:00)

Super-sized Primary Classes - Irish Times
9 July 2016
A chara, – It is difficult hearing people who speak for the Government applaud themselves for proposed increases in the numbers of special needs assistants (SNAs) and teachers hired to work in the primary sector. These people know all too well that the increases are simply keeping up with the demographic fact of larger school enrolment figures...

'Nothing's going to the tax man and our accommodation is paid' - Why these Irish teachers are heading to Dubai - Irish Independent
9 July 2016
Tax-free incentives in the United Arab Emirates are proving very lucrative... Peter Mullan of the INTO said he was not surprised that Ireland would be losing nearly 50 teachers in a month's time. "I'd say that's just the tip of the iceberg; remember that's just with the one agency (Teach and Explore), there's several more out there too offering to help Irish teachers to find work abroad. "Due to the pay cuts imposed on new teachers, and the fact that, particularly at second level, there are a lot of people who can't get full hours here, it's no surprise that we've hundreds of teachers looking to take advantage of more attractive pay packages in other countries"...

School admissions bill fails to go far enough, say groups - Irish Examiner
7 July 2016
...As part of new measures, admission waiting lists and fees will be banned while any school that is not over-subscribed and has space available must accept all pupils who apply to attend...However, despite the move being welcomed by a number of groups including children’s charity Barnardos, groups such as the INTO, and Education Equality Ireland said the moves do not go far enough and mean pupils seeking to attend one in five schools nationwide are still being failed...While welcoming aspects of the new bill, INTO vice president John Boyle said his union wants to have “immediate discussions with the minister” as to how the removal of waiting lists can be dealt with practically before the next school term...

Today FM - The Last Word    
6 July 2016
Admission Fees, Waiting Lists and Explicit Discrimination To Be Banned in Schools: Education Minister - John Boyle, Vice President of the INTO and Paddy Monahan of Education Equality, join the programme to talk about a new bill on education (move to 15:20)

Government to talk with teachers over new entrants’ pay - Irish Times
6 July 2016
The Government is to begin talks with teachers’ unions that have signed up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement over issues such as pay levels for new entrants... Both the TUI and INTO say they made strong representations to Government officials during Tuesday’s meeting over pay arrangements for newly qualified teachers. They said they also cited the recent agreement to restore allowances to firefighters, which many observers see as offering a chance to claw back allowances which were cut during the downturn. In a statement, the INTO said it was agreed that management would commit to a series of meetings and engagements with the INTO and the TUI to fully scope out the issues involved regarding pay arrangements for newly qualified teachers. These meetings are due to commence this month...

Reforms to limit places schools can hold for children of past pupils - Irish Times
6 July 2016
Schools will be forced to set aside no more than 25 per cent of places for children of past pupils under new legislation to be published shortly... In response, the INTO said the proposals lacked clarity and called for detailed discussions with the Department of Education on the issue. “Fair enrolment in primary schools is a key issue for the INTO which supports of equal access to full education for all children,” a spokesman said. “The INTO has long held the view that allowing the authorities of a school to refuse entry to a child on the basis of religion is regressive, dangerous and anti-educational”...

Dubliners show true colours at annual Pride parade - Metro Eireann
1 July 2016
...Marching on the parade route, members of the INTO LGBT Teachers Group donned brightly coloured caps and gowns in what was their 10th year taking part in Dublin Pride, drawing attention to the importance of LGBT acceptance in schools.