Dáil debates

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Education (Amendment) Bill 2010: Second Stage (Resumed)


5:00 pm

Photo of Michael AhernMichael Ahern (Cork East, Fianna Fail)

I hope the Minister will consider making this area more definitive.

The Bill states that a teacher may be unregistered for a number of reasons. A constituent of mine has a Montessori diploma, a bachelor of theatre studies degree, a master's degree in drama and a postgraduate diploma in education and was registered by the Teaching Council. Due to the fact she had a baby, was out of work for a year and did not register during the year she was out, when she tried to go back to work, the Teaching Council decided she should not be registered again. If she had paid the €90 fee to register in the year she was out of work, she would have been able to continue. That is small-minded and against the principle of registration.

I wish to raise the thorny question of young qualified teachers coming out of training colleges and not finding permanent positions in the following years. They need to have the opportunity to gain experience in national schools. One often hears that the vacancies are offered to retired teachers, which there is evidence to support. It is wrong that young teachers should be denied the opportunity to get experience. While they are academically qualified, as in any other profession, they need the opportunity to get work experience. To have them locked out of opportunities is not morally correct. I request the management of schools throughout the country to ensure their first port of call is young qualified teachers who need jobs and experience.

In general, I welcome the Bill. I hope the Minister will take note of queries that have been raised from both sides of the House to improve it. The enactment of the Bill will progress the education system.


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