Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of Education and Skills

State Examinations

Martin Browne (Tipperary, Sinn Fein)
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183. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether teachers no longer employed in a school cannot be expected to assist with predicted grades in that school (details supplied); his views on whether it is inappropriate for former employees to be contacted by former employers requesting them to perform unpaid work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10619/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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I published detailed guidance for schools on the operation of the calculated grades process on 21 May. The guidance was developed following extensive consultation with representatives of teachers, principals and school management authorities.

The guidance document sets out procedures if there is not sufficient evidence available in the school on which to base a sound estimate, such as the case of a student who is new to a school or where there has been a new or substitute teacher.

In such cases, the principal should contact the previous school the student attended to ascertain whether additional information can be made available to support the process, or consider whether the assistance of the previous teacher can be made available. For instance, it would be anticipated that a recently retired teacher, a teacher on approved leave or others who may still be contactable by the school, may be willing to cooperate with this process in whatever way they can in the best interests of the students in these circumstances. However, former teachers cannot be obliged to participate in this process. It is also recognised that there may be cases where there is no access to the previous teacher for a variety of reasons. In such a case, arrangements should be made for assistance for the new teacher, whether that be from the principal or another experienced teacher in the school. Whatever can be done to ensure the best available estimates in the circumstances should be done.

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