Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Union guidelines offers protection to teachers

5 May, 2009 - by John O'Dowd

Sinn Féin MLA and education spokesperson John O’Dowd  has welcomed the most recent guidelines from the Irish National Teachers Organisation directing their members “to have no involvement whatsoever with the proposed entrance tests”.   Stating that the Union is putting the interests of primary teachers to the fore Mr O’Dowd said:   “By issuing these guidelines the INTO is seeking to safeguard teachers who may be under pressure from their own Board of Governors or an attempt to pressurise primary schools into conforming with the grammar school sector’s view of education and teach towards an unregulated and legally precarious transfer test.    “Primary schools are centres of education in their own right and not merely holding centres for potential grammar school pupils as some within the grammar sector believe. Primary school teachers should be allowed to get on with their job and teach to the Revised Curriculum without interference from those more interested in their own perceived status than the effect of their outdated system on 10 and 11-year old children.   “I welcome the INTO guidelines as they put the interest of primary school teachers and pupils to the fore. In their recent bulletin the INTO advises teachers ‘to have no involvement whatsoever with the proposed entrance tests’. I’m sure serious consideration was taken before this advice was issued in order to provide members with the clearest protection.” ENDS

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