Safeguards protecting teachers from lobbying or canvassing now urgently required – TUI

By piofficer, Monday, 11th May 2020 | 0 comments

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) reiterated today that it will be seeking the immediate introduction of safeguards to ensure that the professional integrity of teachers is protected in the context of the emergency introduction of calculated grades for this year.

The union will also be seeking to ensure that the system is made fair and equitable for every student, regardless the school that they attend. TUI will continue to engage with the education partners on these issues.

Speaking today, TUI President Seamus Lahart said:

‘While the clear preference of the TUI has always been that the written examinations would proceed, regrettably this has proved to be not possible due to public health advice. Recognising this, the executive committee of the Union decided on Friday that members would engage with calculated grades to allow students to progress with their lives.

However, we are now seeking urgent clarifications and clearer guidance on a range of issues.

Crucially, a protocol that protects teachers from any form of lobbying or canvassing in relation to their role in terms of the system of calculated grades must immediately be introduced by the Department of Education and Skills. The professional integrity and independence of teachers must be protected. They should not be subject to any undue pressure whatsoever in relation to their role. The TUI’s call for a protocol also envisages protection for students, as to favour one would be to put others at a disadvantage.

In addition, we must ensure that this emergency system of facilitating progression to further education or employment is fair for all students, irrespective of their socioeconomic background or the school that they attend. No student should be further disadvantaged as a result of the cancellation of the written examinations.

Finally, it is important to state again that while we recognise the exceptional circumstances of this year, implementation of these measures on an emergency basis will not and cannot be regarded as a precedent, and this is acknowledged by all parties, including the Department and the Minister.’

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