'Teachers frustrated by overly bureaucratic, professionally demeaning usage of 33 hours'

By piofficer, Friday, 18th October 2013 | 0 comments

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has called for engagement between the education partners to ensure that the 33 additional hours committed to as part of the Haddington Road Agreement following a ballot of members are put to better use within schools. 


Speaking today, TUI President Gerard Craughwell said:

“In too many cases, the manner in which the 33 hours are being used in schools and the constraints that apply to that usage are regarded by our members professionally demeaning.   This sense of frustration and professional slight at the bureaucratic and coerced nature of the usage of the hours is growing with each passing week. Too often, management appear to display more of an obsession with ticking off these blocks of time rather than ensuring that the resource is of any real benefit in supporting education within the school.

During the negotiations that led to the Haddington Road Agreement in May 2013, the TUI and our colleagues in the ASTI were at pains to impress upon the Department of Education and Skills the need for a more creative, imaginative and educationally useful and valid application of the 33 hours. At a time when schools are still reeling from a litany of swingeing cutbacks, it must be ensured that these hours are deployed to best effect in addressing the real needs of students and schools. Regrettably, this is simply not happening in many schools, where the hours are deployed in a bureaucratic and arid manner.

On a not entirely unrelated matter, it is most unhelpful that the National Association of Principals and Deputies (NAPD) has chosen to offer unsolicited comment on industrial relations issues in recent days. We believe the body would be better employed advising the Department of Education and Skills as to how these hours could be better used for the benefit of education.“

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