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Dublin: 17°C Saturday 21 May 2022

'Unworkable': Shatter rejects vetting idea from teachers

Around 42,000 serving teachers will have to be vetted retrospectively under new legislation, which one teachers’ union says will create long delays.

Alan Shatter
Alan Shatter
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Justice has rejected a suggestion from one of the main teaching unions that vetting could be carried out by a teaching organisation, rather than by gardaí.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland had put forward the idea in a bid to counteract delays as it was confirmed that tens of thousands of serving teachers will have to be vetted retrospectively under new legislation.

The TUI said the new rules will create major problems and long delays in appointing new teachers.

The union had proposed that the Teaching Council, which is responsible for regulating teaching in Ireland, could instead carry out background checks on teachers.

However Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the proposal was “unworkable”, and would result in tens of thousands of unvetted teachers would never be vetted by the schools that employ them.

“The effect of the proposal made by the TUI would be that Boards of Management in schools would not be able to obtain details of criminal convictions of persons applying to work as teachers in their school,” Shatter said.

This would totally undermine the child protection objective of the legislation.

Shatter confirmed that while around 40,000 teachers have already been vetted, around 42,000 serving teachers were hired before vetting legislation was introduced and will have to be vetted retrospectively.

Teachers’ unions are holding their conferences this week to discuss issues such as Croke Park 2, pay and conditions, and best practice.

Read: Ruairí Quinn: School enrolment to be ‘more structured, fair and transparent’ >

Read: Teachers’ union votes to reject further talks on Croke Park 2 >

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