Clarke and the Irish Independent
Published 04/01/2012 | 05:00
The Press Ombudsman has decided to uphold a complaint by Ms Maeve Clarke that an article in the Irish Independent on 17 September 2011 about the findings of an OECD Report on teachers' pay and conditions breached Principle 1 (Truth and Accuracy) of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines because it stated inaccurately that the number of hours worked by Irish secondary teachers was "significantly lower" than the OECD average.
The Report concerned is almost 500 pages long and contains detailed statistical analyses of the trends in teachers' pay and conditions in OECD countries. It records the most recent figures for average teaching hours in those OECD countries which supplied data for all reference years as 684 for lower secondary teachers, and 623 for upper secondary level teachers. It also records the average for Irish teachers in each of these categories as 735 hours. As the statement in the article was therefore a significant inaccuracy, the complaint is upheld.
The Press Ombudsman decided that an offer by the newspaper to publish a letter from the complainant was a sufficient offer on its part to resolve another complaint about the article, and he decided not to uphold two further complaints about the article.