ASTI: Legal protection currently being offered to teachers 'falls short of what is required'

The country’s largest second-level teaching union has advised its members not to begin marking Leaving Cert students as it believes the legal protection currently being offered to teachers is unacceptable.
ASTI: Legal protection currently being offered to teachers 'falls short of what is required'

The country’s largest second-level teaching union has advised its members not to begin marking Leaving Cert students as it believes the legal protection currently being offered to teachers is unacceptable.

The Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) has directed its members not to begin work on the process of calculating grades for this year's Leaving Cert students.

Earlier this Thursday, the Cabinet signed off on legal indemnity for teachers and schools who are individually named in any civil proceedings that may arise.

“Unfortunately, and upon legal advice, the indemnity that has been offered to teachers thus far falls short of what is required and could potentially lead to personal liabilities for costs for second level teachers,” the union said in a statement issued this evening.

“This position is unacceptable. We will continue to engage with the Department of Education and Skills to secure the necessary provisions. In the meantime, we are advising ASTI members not to undertake any work on the process until this issue is resolved.”

Earlier this evening, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) welcomed the detailed guidance issued by the Department of Education.

The Department of Education continues to engage with the teaching unions in relation to the calculated process, a Department of Education spokesman said.

"A State indemnity has been approved by Government for teachers, principals, schools and boards of management in relation to their role in the calculated grades for Leaving Certificate 2020."

Further clarification has been provided to the unions and engagement in relation to that is ongoing, he added.

"Minister Joe McHugh recognises the importance of teachers carrying out work in relation to Calculated Grades on behalf of the Department which is why he sought approval from Government to put a State indemnity scheme in place."

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