The country’s 33,000 primary school teachers will be balloted for industrial action over, what their union says, is the continued ban on job promotion in schools as well as an increasing workload.
The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation said the ballot will ask teachers to stop all involvement with the Department of Education’s ongoing programme of school self-evaluation.
It claims the ban on promotions in primary schools, introduced in 2008, has led to the loss of thousands of promotions, severely impacting upon the career prospects of teachers who have not seen their status advanced and increasing the workload on those in promoted posts.
As well as a lifting of the ban, the union wants the reinstatement of promoted posts lost in the last eight years. INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan described the ban as intolerable. She said it was having a severe impact and compromising the running of schools.
“In modern schools, leadership must be shared,” she said. “There is more administration and bureaucracy than ever. Meeting increased demand from parents, pupils and the department cannot be done without the necessary resources such as a leadership team of promoted teachers.”
The INTO said it had noted plans by the department to “ramp up” requirements for schools in the self-evaluation of teaching and learning and to introduce self-evaluation of leadership and management in schools.
Ms Nunan said the ban on promotion is severely limiting the capacity of an increasing number of schools to engage with that process.
She also said the introduction of a new language curriculum would mean it will not be possible for schools to extend their involvement in school self-evaluation at this time.
She called on the department to lift the moratorium on posts of responsibility and co-operate in alleviating workload in schools.
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