In brief: 'Too many notes'
PRIMARY teachers say too much of their time is taken up with "copious note-taking" as a result of all the new legislation in the education field.
They find themselves taking notes on issues to do with relationships, behaviour and possible bullying for fear of being found wanting in any possible investigation, the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) conference heard. Delegates condemned increasing workload demands and paperwork expectations, which, they said, were leading to a considerable increase in stress. The conference adopted a motion calling for research on all aspects of workload, expectations and work-related stress.
MARTIN SLATES QUINN
FORMER education minister and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin (below) warned that Education Minister Ruairi Quinn's "foot-in-mouth moment" didn't help his reception at the Irish teacher conferences. Mr Martin said that ministers "had to expect" a strong reaction at some teacher conferences when issues of major controversy were being dealt with.
"But Minister Quinn didn't help matters with his foot-in-mouth moment about feminisation at the INTO conference in Kilkenny and then his failure to properly consult with secondary teachers over Junior Cert reforms before attending the ASTI conference in Wexford. He certainly didn't do a lot to ease concerns," he said.
CUTS HIT LEAVING CERT
SCHOOLS are dropping a valuable Leaving Certificate programme because of cutbacks, a teachers' conference heard.
The Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) was introduced over 20 years ago for students who were not as academically motivated as others and it grew hugely in popularity. It is now taken by about 6pc of students. However, education cuts in recent years mean that the extra teaching support to run the programme given to schools is now only provided for the first year they introduce it, while a special grant has also been withdrawn. Bernie Ruane, a former union president, told the TUI conference it was resulting in schools dropping the programme, or merging students from fifth and sixth years into the same classes.