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Redeployments April 6, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Ireland.
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After the ratification of the Croke Park Agreement, plans are afoot for various redeployment’s around the Secondary School sector (and other areas of the public sector too). However the secondary School sector is almost unique in the number of part time staff it has who are on yearly contracts.
In September Schools with decreasing numbers of pupils will be losing teachers as they are redeployed to schools within a fifty mile radius of their existing schools.
That in turn will lead to Teachers in the destination schools losing hours and jobs. Already decisions are being made as to which Part Time Staff to let go. The likelihood is that possibly 300 part time teachers will be losing their jobs because of the redeployment’s. Others will be on significantly reduced hours.
In tandem comes the news that the FÁS Work Placement Programme for Unemployed teachers has already kicked in. All over the Country Teachers on this FÁS placement programme have already started working in schools. This at a time when teachers are out doing Orals and practicals for State Exams. Its rumoured that in some schools the FÁS placement Teachers are being used to cover for these rather than existing Part Time staff who would get paid for this cover.
So for those teachers that lose their jobs to redeployments, the slim prospects of teaching hours elsewhere become slimmer. Indeed how many of these are likely to end up back in their current school on the FÁS placement Programme?

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1. Niall - April 6, 2011

Same thing that’s happening to primary school teachers?

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0309/1224291667693.html

It’s truly unfair on young teachers and their pupils. These teachers can’t even depend on their unions for help because the unions are looking after the interests of the older members who are in the majority.

It’s crazy that a 50 year old teacher who trained decades ago and who has taught 5th class for the past 20 years could be parachuted into a job where they end up teaching profoundly intellectually disabled 17 year olds at the expense of a young teacher.

The older teacher might not want the job but if they refuse they lose their entitlements. The younger teacher would have better (if still inadequate) training and would be more likely to have the energy required for such a position, but merit isn’t considered.

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LeftAtTheCross - April 6, 2011

Bollox Niall. This argument that younger automatically equals better trained and more enthusiastic is cobblers. What about the wisdom that comes with age, the experience that is learnt on the job, the people skills and finesse required to handle groups of kids? Merit my hole.

By no means am I condoning the policy of the Dept of Education in introducing the yellowpack schemes by the way. My wife is a temporary second-level teacher and this deployment saga is hanging over us at a personal level.

I simply take issue with your ageist line of argument.

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Niall - April 6, 2011

LATC, In regards special education, younger teachers are certainly better educated. Remember that back when older teachers were training, the DES regarded people with intellectual disabilities as ineducable and the training courses reflected this. Yes, there are various courses that teachers can go on, but these are generally optional and not availed of.

As for the wisdom that comes with age, it tends to be domain specific. If you’ve spent your life teaching neurotypical four year olds, you don’t acquire wisdom on how to deal with a self-injuring 16 year old autistic boy or how to teach a non-verbal child to speak.

As for energy, in general, younger people are more energetic. And in the example I gave, this is particularly relevant. Few of us get more energetic as we get older.

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WorldbyStorm - April 7, 2011

I think it’s dangerous to generalise about enthusiasm being the province of the young. The same with energy. I’m generalising, but are a bunch of teachers in their 40s/50s/60s any less able than – say – another bunch in their 20s/30s nursing hangovers? As I say I generalise, but not entirely. Most people in their 40s/50s and early 60s are well able to deal with what’s thrown at them.

Also it’s worth noting that teachers do upskill during their career so the gulf between ‘younger’/’older’ isn’t so clear cut. In any event given the numbers of teachers who enter teaching as mature students this age issue seems to be perhaps tangential.

In any event I’d be a bit concerned that this pushes blame, implicitly or otherwise onto people who aren’t making the decisions one way or another.

BTW, I should add I’m no teacher, but I do work some of the time in third level in both a practical and theoretical discipline and have seen 20 something lecturers who are rubbish and 60 y.o’s whose energy engagement and enthusiasm is astounding. Indeed a few years ago I was one of those who brought a visiting speaker/lecturer in his late 70s in to both the practical and theoretical area and his enthusiasm and engagement was amazing.

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LeftAtTheCross - April 7, 2011

Niall, just to follow up on teh argument that a teacher with 20 years of teaching 5 year olds will potentially be reallocated to teaching 17 year olds with learning difficulties, I don’t personally know the details of the primary level redeployment but certainly in terms of second level, as I understand it, the redeployment will be on the basis of subject specialisation. There’s no question of English teachers being redeployed to teach Maths for example. I would be surprised if a primary teacher was redeployed as in the example given above, to teach teenegers with learning difficulties. Is that example just hyperbolae to reinforce your argment?

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Niall - April 10, 2011

Apologies for the late reply, no such provision applies to the primary sector as all primary school teachers are generalists.

I personally know of 5 special needs primary teachers on temporary contracts who are being put on the dole. They must be replaced by people from “the panel” regardless of whether these people have the skills or experience required.

I know of special schools in this country who have struggled to find teachers and principals over the past year because of the fact that, generally, when somebody trains as a teacher, they plan on teaching neurotypical kids. Teaching kids with special needs can be a very different job.

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fergal - April 6, 2011

“they can’t depend on their unions”,who can in our labour flexible IMF protectorate?The media complains of old timers in the unions but what are the younger people doing?Why haven’t they been joining unions and creating havoc?Or have they been too busy being passive and licking up to school principals and isn’t this what happens when people are passive;unfair deals.I recall being on marches against the cutbacks and seeing very few young people marching with the teachers’ unions.I agree with Leftatthe Cross in some walks of life there is almost an Orwellian unwritten rule which goes “young=good older=bad”.Life is never that black and white….fortunately

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WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2011

It’s unfair on everyone, young and old. I understand the point you make Niall, but there’s no winners out of this, and I think fergal has a point about union activism. Of course there’s also exceptions to that rule.

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2. Crocodile - April 6, 2011

My friend the school principal is deeply unhappy at this. Certain types of person, as Niall says, are suited to certain types of teaching job: one-size-fits-all is a nightmare scenario for a principal trying to find the right person.
We can expect plenty more of this kind of thing as the Croke Park Agreement rolls out: smallish, niggly changes that government departments have been longing to make for years – and that won’t even save any money – that can now be pushed through under cover of the CPA. ‘Your pay’s protected? Don’t worry – we’ll find a thousand ways to shaft you on your conditions.’

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WorldbyStorm - April 6, 2011

Funnily enough I’ve seen what you are saying about the Croke Park agreement played out elsewhere only in the last few days. I think you’re correct. This is going to cause problems.

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3. Crocodile - April 6, 2011

Educational sidenote: qualified teacher Enda Kenny on the 6 o’clock news said how moved he was by the daffodils at the young RUC man’s funeral. Then he quoted ‘Wordsworth’ – except the lines he said were from Herrick’s ‘To Daffodils.’ The fall in educational standards is nothing new.

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