Thursday 25 May 2017

Unqualified teachers finally axed by Quinn

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

THE days of "unqualified teachers" working in schools are coming to an end.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn is backing away from planned changes in the law that would have resulted in untrained staff being employed and paid as teachers.

In extreme circumstances, where a teacher is not available, schools will still be able to hire untrained supervisors to provide care for pupils -- but only for a very limited period. Such employees will not be regarded or paid as a teacher.

The planned move has been welcomed by the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO), which had warned that it would not work alongside "unqualified teachers" from September.

Row

A row erupted last year when the previous government signalled its intention to amend Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act to allow non-teaching staff to be employed and paid as teachers. Mr Quinn has decided not to go ahead with the Section 30 amendment.

INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said: "It will put an end to the idea that anyone can walk into a classroom and pretend to be a teacher. Only registered teachers can be employed as teachers in schools."

Ms Nunan added that it was "a key piece of the architecture to maximise employment for new teachers".

Irish Independent

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