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Teachers' Union calls for 'sanction' of parents who lobby teachers over child's Leaving Cert grade

TUI general secretary John McGabhann said this could take the form of a “public record” of any lobbying that took place.

An online petition calling for the Leaving Cert to be cancelled had been signed by nearly 30,000 people.
An online petition calling for the Leaving Cert to be cancelled had been signed by nearly 30,000 people.

THE HEAD OF the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has suggested there should be a sanction in place for parents who attempt to lobby teachers over Leaving Cert grades.

TUI general secretary John McGabhann said this could take the form of a “public record” of any lobbying that took place. 

The call comes as day after this summer’s series of state examinations were cancelled in favour of calculated grades for students. 

Under the plans, a students’ final grade in each subject is awarded as part of a four-step process involving their teacher, other teachers, the school principal, and the Department of Education. 

Although the final grade will not be the decision of the teacher alone, concerns have been raised that teachers will be pressured to help students achieve a higher grade. 

Speaking this afternoon on RTÉ’s Saturday with Cormac Ó hEadhra, McGabhann said that a “no canvassing protocol” should be introduced. 

The protocol would essentially be, to give it a shorthand, a no canvassing protocol, where you would first of all invite people very clearly and very politely not to engage in canvassing on the basis that it will not secure the benefit that they hope it would.

“I think at some point, you may need to provide for the possibility of sanctions,” he added. 

McGabhann said that politicians in the first instance can make it clear to people that it would not be appropriate for parents or anybody else to canvass on a student’s behalf.

“The first port of call is to say to any parent, or somebody if you like who canvases on behalf of the student, that the fact of that canvas will be logged, will be required to be logged within the school, and will become a matter of public record.

“We have a lobbying charter otherwise, so why not in this regard,” he added.

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The TUI is supporting the plans announced yesterday but McGabhann said that the outcome is not ideal.

“This is not a perfect system, and nobody is pretending it is, but in the circumstances we have found that it is necessary,” he said.

Poll: Do you think the lobbying register is a good idea? 


Poll Results:

Yes (4954)
No (815)
Not sure (328)



About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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