Senator Conway-Walsh asks Minister to address intolerable workload of teaching principals
Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said that the situation facing teaching principals is getting worse and may result in posts being vacated if nothing is done to alleviate the administrative burden on them.
Speaking in the Seanad today the Mayo Senator said:
"Many small schools in rural areas rely on Principals teaching at the same time. In many cases they teach several different classes in the one setting.
"Added to this they have to function as Principal of the school with all the daily unexpected challenges that brings.
"They then must fulfill administrative duties which involve regular contact with the Department of Education and a host of other statutory and voluntary bodies.
"Currently these principals are only given 15 administration days a year to do all this. They have asked for one day a week.
"This is a reasonable request to enable them balance the role of teacher and principal. This issue has been highlighted for the past 10 years with little or no positive outcomes.
We are fast approaching crisis point with many of these principals reassessing their future where administration duties increase yet supports do not follow suit.
"I have asked Minister Bruton to come to the Seanad to debate the issue and to arrive at workable solutions.
"He needs to hear the reality of the situation and understand that this simply cannot continue. These principals already take up the slack for Government and the least they deserve is enough time and resources to do this."