Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (243)

Louise O'Reilly


243. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to review the exceptional circumstances under which school managements are free to commence or cease the procedures set out in circular 0071/2014; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that in some instances employees deemed to have a disability are being excluded from the procedures outlined in the circular; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44855/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Circular 0059/2009 set out the disciplinary procedures for teachers employed by Vocational Education Committees (VEC). The procedures were negotiated and agreed with the education partners in accordance with Section 24(3) of the Education Act, 1998. Circular 0059/2009 was later superseded by Circular 0071/2014 to account for the merger of VECs into Education and Training Boards (ETBs). The current Circular setting out the disciplinary procedures for teachers employed by ETBs is Circular 0048/2018.

Where an ETB is dealing with performance or conduct issues in respect of a teacher, the use of Circular 0048/2018 is mandatory. The procedures set out in Circular 0048/2018 may be commenced or ceased at different stages by the employer depending on the circumstances of the individual case concerned. The Circular does not set out exceptional circumstances and I have no plans to review this matter. I am satisfied that the procedures (which were agreed with the education partners) comply with all relevant legislation and codes of practice.

There has been correspondence with my Department relating to a case has been considered and ruled upon before the High Court and the Court of Appeal. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on matters pertaining to a specific case involving an individual employee.