As the Deputy is aware, Part 5 of the Teaching Council Act, 2001 sets out the Council's investigating and disciplinary functions. The Council or any person may apply to the Investigating Committee for an inquiry into the fitness to teach of a registered teacher where: the teacher has failed to comply with or has contravened the Teaching Council Act, 2001, the Education Act, 1998, the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 or the Vocational Education Acts, 1930 to 1999, or any regulations rules or orders made under those Acts; the teacher's behaviour constitutes professional misconduct; the teacher's registration is erroneous due to a false or fraudulent declaration or misrepresentation; he or she is medically unfit to teach.
When it is deemed appropriate to do so, the Council's Disciplinary Committee will conduct a hearing on a complaint referred to it by the Investigating Committee. Such hearings may lead to withdrawal of registration on a temporary or permanent basis. Draft rules of procedure for panels of the disciplinary committee of the Teaching Council, as required in Section 2 of Schedule 3 of the 2001 Act have been drawn up by the Teaching Council.
Discussions between my Department and the Teaching Council regarding the commencement of Part 5 have taken place and the Teaching Council has indicated its view that Part 5 and Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act 2001 should be commenced together. As previously stated, it is intended that Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act be commenced in the near future. The commencement of the section will include provision for it to be regulated that a school may employ unregistered personnel on a time limited basis in exceptional circumstances, and this necessitates a change to the primary legislation.
I intend to commence both Part 5 and Section 30 as soon as is practicable.