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Minister must explain why retired teachers are being paid to deliver CPD: Deputy Jonathan O’Brien

2 May, 2013 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Sinn Féin education spokesperson, Deputy Jonathan O’Brien TD, has learnt that the Department of Education &Skills (DES) is paying retired teaching personnel, including former school principals, to deliver Continual Personal Development (CPD) for teachers at a considerable cost to the State.

The Cork North Central TD was referring to a reply he received recently to a Parliamentary Question (PQ) which showed that during a three year period from 2010, over €780,000 had been paid to retired teaching personnel to deliver this service.

He continued: “It is very worrying that on an annual basis, hundreds of thousands of Euros are being paid by the DES to retired teaching personnel to deliver CPD when thousands of young recently qualified teachers are struggling to find employment.

“In 2012 for example, €429,882 was paid through the Blackrock Education Centre with €163,027 spent on travel and subsistence. This is a significant amount of money that is impossible to justify and I also believe the figures I have obtained are only the tip of the iceberg and that a significant percentage of retired teachers are supplementing their pension by being redeployed in a number of different ways

“SF fully supports professional development for teachers but is wrong that teachers on retired pensions plans are delivering in-service courses. It is my view that the recruitment embargo is greatly exacerbating the current situation and means the type of innovative training that teachers need is being curtailed. It will, for example, likely to impact negatively on the rollout of the reform of the Junior Cert Cycle.

“It is also worrying that no figures are available in respect of VECs and colleges of further education which suggests there is little or no monitoring of what is happening.

“At a time when teachers are enduring significant cuts to pay and allowances as well as the erosion of employment rights and entitlements and the casualisation of work practises then it is very unfair that retired teachers are being employed in this way.”

Note to editors:

Deputy O’Brien received the following reply to his PQ

*To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if retired principals are being employed by his Department, the vocational education committees or directly by schools or colleges to provide continual personal development in-service training for teachers; and if he will provide in tabular form the money paid to retired teachers providing this service on an individual basis for the past two years..
- Jonathan O'Brien.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 24th April, 2013.
Reference Number: 19468/13Proof: 117


Minister Ruairí Quinn

My Department does not employ retired principals or deputy principals for the purposes of the provision of in service training for teachers. However, I understand that a number of qualified teachers, including retired principals, are employed on a part time basis through Blackrock Education Centre to assist national support services to deliver CPD for schools in identified priority areas in the primary and post primary sectors. The part-time personnel provide support in specialist areas where there is no capacity within the full-time teams.

In the school year 2010-2011 retired personnel, including principals, worked for an average of just over 4 days, and in the school year 2011-2012 retired personnel, including principals, worked for an average of just over 5 days.

The amounts paid by Blackrock EC in the period 2010-2012 are as follows:

2010 - €104,509 of which €53,233 relates to travel and subsistence expenses

2011 - €247,380 of which €135,444 relates to travel and subsistence expenses

2012 - €429,882 of which €163,027 relates to travel and subsistence expenses

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of VECs, colleges of education or individual schools is not held centrally by my Department.

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