Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (392)

Jim O'Keeffe


504 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason primary school teachers who have Montessori degrees are classed as unqualified and therefore denied sick leave, holiday pay, normal salaries and pension entitlements; and when this anomaly will be removed. [1815/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

My Department grants restricted recognition to certain categories of teachers, who are not fully qualified to teach in mainstream national schools, to render them eligible to teach in certain special schools and in the categories of special classes in mainstream schools where Irish is not a curricular requirement. Such teachers are also eligible for posts as resource teachers for children with special needs in mainstream schools but are not eligible for learning support posts in mainstream schools.

Teachers with restricted recognition, working in a post their recognition entitles them to hold, are entitled to be placed on the same salary scale and enjoy the same sick leave and pension entitlements as fully recognised teachers. They are not, however, recognised as qualified to teach in mainstream classes in national schools and would therefore be regarded as untrained in respect of any service in a temporary post in a mainstream class.

Teachers with the Montessori qualification which is awarded on completion of the three year full-time course in the Association Montessori Internationale — AMI — College, Mount St. Mary's, Milltown, Dublin 14, and teachers trained in St. Nicholas, Dún Laoghaire, Montessori school, who have successfully completed the full-time course of at least three years duration accredited by the National Council for Educational Awards may be granted restricted recognition. These conditions are set out in circular 25/00, recognition of teacher qualifications for the purpose of teaching in national schools. It is open to any other Montessori course provider to submit a course to the Higher Education and Training Awards Council or HETAC for accreditation. Without such accreditation, my Department will not approve the course for the purposes of employment as a primary teacher.