Offaly TD voices support for Teaching-Principals who are 'being driven out of the profession'
Independent Offaly TD Carol Nolan has voiced her support for Teaching-Principals and their call for a one-day-a-week release from teaching duties to attend to administration duties. Deputy Nolan says Teaching-Principals 'are being driven out of the profession'.
Speaking today from the constituency Deputy Nolan stated, “the functions of a teacher and the functions of managing a school are entirely different. It is incomprehensible in this day and age, that we imagine a teacher can perform their full time teaching duties and at the same time manage a school facility. We do not expect a GP Manager to fulfil the management and reporting functions of the Medical Centre at the same time that she is attending to her patients, yet we expect Teaching-Principals to do exactly that whilst teaching our children.”
Deputy Nolan was speaking in response to a recent Briefing by the Teaching-Principals Forum which advanced the request for a one administration day per week. Teaching-Principals would retain a substitute teacher for their class to release them to attend to the administration and management tasks of the school.
Deputy Nolan stressed the changes in governance, reporting and accountability in recent years.
"Every improvement and advancement in the development of our schools has brought its own burden of reporting and paperwork. The list of school policies is now exhaustive and ever increasing. Homework; Bullying; Attendance; Health and Safety; Accident; Medication Protocols; Discipline; Whole School Evaluation and Data Protection are just a few of the many reporting tasks with which Principals must comply. It is beyond reason to imagine Teaching-Principals can administer this workload on top of their teaching responsibilities. The situation is compromising both the educational integrity of our schools and the quality of reporting.
"The unreasonable burden is having a calamitous effect on the stress, strain and mental health of very capable Principals and the lack of support is contributing to their early exodus from the profession. I unreservedly support their modest demand for a one day a week release day," Deputy Nolan concluded.