Parents welcome power to remove bad teachers

Parents have welcomed moves to introduce powers to remove the ability of bad teachers to work.

An Oireachtas committee heard on Wednesday the steps needed to give the Teaching Council the ability to hold fitness-to-teach inquires will be taken soon by the Department of Education.

It will do so once a law making registration with the council compulsory to get work in a state-funded school is given effect, and a law to allow unqualified people do substitute work in emergency situations pass.

Both measures should happen during the next school year, meaning complaints could soon after be referred to the council’s investigating committee. It can then set up a hearing by a disciplinary committee, similar to those run by the Medical Council for doctors.

National Parents Council Primary chief executive Áine Lynch, a member of the council, said parents will warmly welcome the introduction of the disciplinary powers. She said it is equally important to have agreed complaints procedures for complaints at school level.

“Any issue with teachers should be dealt with at school level first, but we often hear from parents with complaints that there isn’t a proper system in the school,” she said.

Department of Education officials have also indicated that a requirement for all schools to have formal grievance procedures could be brought forward as part of legislative changes being considered.

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