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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

News reporter: Barry Hennessy

On this week's programme we feature an interview with the Director of the Teaching Council, Aine Lawlor, on the work of the Council. We begin the programme with the views of a non-scientific sample of teachers we spoke to in two schools - one primary and one secondary.

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  • Stephen McFarlane

    Hi, This interview leaves with more questions than answers. The Teaching Council seem quite defensive in relations to questions around the infamous €90 per year. Are we all simply to play up and not ask where this money goes?

    In 2008 the Teaching Council seemed to be operating off closing balance of a profit of €2.4 million (2008 accounts available on their website). Where does all this cash go?


    Mar 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm
  • joe young

    What Aine Lawlor ommitted to say, and registered paying members should be aware of, was that the Minister is in the process of amending the Teaching Act to allow for ‘unregistered’ teachers to continue in a temporary employment capacity in our schools where necessary on a daily basis.

    How is that upholding standards in teaching?


    Mar 27, 2010 at 7:18 am
  • Barry Hennessy

    Joe and Steve,

    Thank you very much for your comments and of course for listening. I hope you’ll stay tuned either here or on 103.2 FM in Dublin at 7.30pm on Sundays.

    You can be sure that we will return to the issues around the Teaching Council in the future and obviously we will take all the feedback we get into account in considering the questions to be asked.

    We are hoping to speak to Minister Coughlan in due course and we will of course discuss planned legislation including any proposed amendments to the Teaching Council Act with her.

    In the meantime, I hope the debate will continue here and Seán and I will keep an eye on it to see what matters might be followed up on in future programmes.

    Barry Hennessy, Inside Education, 103.2 Dublin City FM.

    Mar 27, 2010 at 9:34 am
  • Mary O'Brien

    Ihave no idea what they do - other than collect €90 once a year. Having listened to Aine I am none the wiser. as she skirted around the issue. I can understand that when I registered first they might have needed the €90 to check my qualifications, but after a number of years why do they still need that € 90 (or €53 as Aine suggests) Maybe someone else might be able to answer that question for me?

    Mar 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm
  • Anna

    The Teaching Council have produced a list of recognised degrees for teaching of various subjects (Second Level). They have listed nearly every single degree that a person could have got IN IRELAND. If you got your degree or a masters ABROAD … they start throwing up the barriers to registering you. It’s akin to a buy irish campaign for teachers.

    Mar 29, 2010 at 7:36 am
  • Stephen McFarlane

    Hi, I have spoken at some lenght with the Teaching Council over the last day or two on the matters highlighted and I suggest that people contact them directly with their concerns. A number of developments are underway with the Council that may be of interest to everyone invloved. Steve

    Mar 30, 2010 at 7:27 am
  • Mary O'Hara

    Hi Steve, Joe, Mary and Anna,

    It’s good to note that others query the teaching council also. As a retired teacher I rang the council before paying my 90euro but got absolutely nowhere. I completely fail to see of what benefit it is to any teacher or to what use the money is being put. Hopefully, in time we will get some positive, helpful answers!

    Mary O’Hara

    Apr 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm
  • KDR

    A body which ensures its members adhere to a standard is fine. But the standards were always fine. The teaching council literally appeared overnight, and demanded 90 euro or you wouldnt get paid. They threatened the then teaching body and bullied them into joining. What do they do ?

    They apparently insure that incoming teachers adhere to some level of professional competence. Ok. I cant understand how that was any different in the past, with degrees, Hdips or equivalent etc etc being required. What else …. pretty much nothing other than making life difficult for Non Irish qualified teachers and making sure everyone coughs up 90 euro, which their inefficient website wont let you currently do.

    I object and still do to being forced to join an organisation on an or else basis and then being forced to pay a yearly fee for the privelege so that my perfectly sound teaching qualifications and years of experience are somehow only now ok.

    Is big brother really necessary ?

    May 27, 2010 at 3:08 am
  • Marie

    I am passionate about teaching and all it involves. We have a huge responsibility and influence in moulding kids futures. In working with children our profession must be regulated and who better to inform this than teachers - self regulation. We give out when the media slates us for having long holidays and ‘huge’ salaries!! Do they not realise how difficult yet rewarding our jobs are! We may have struggled or know colleagues who have struggled in the first years of teaching….solution compulsary induction programmes….. We may get annoyed at people giving out about in-service days….. solution structured continous professional development……. A central register of teachers upholding standards…. Garda Vetting…..speaks for itself…. research programme informing policy…. a collective voice advising the Dept….. all this carried out by the Council giving a strategic focus despite the recession……..and self funding making the Council an autonomous body….. it baffles me why so many of my colleagues cannot see potential of a professional body for teachers…. perhaps time will tell….. perhaps a necessary evil.

    May 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm
  • insideeducation

    I have been reading some of the comments left by listeners in response to this programme and all views and opinions are appreciated. In the course of looking through the comments I deleted a handful of them. The deleted comments were ones critical of individuals or groups of individuals, named or unnamed, in ways that went beyond fair comment.

    On Inside Education we welcome the expression of a wide range of views on all aspects of the topics that are covered on the programmes. The website provides a forum where follow-up views can be expressed. But posts which are critical of persons, which make unjustified claims, or which use hyperbole can be hurtful and don’t really advance anything.

    Comments that are most welcome are those that are constructive and offer ways of doing things better. We might disagree on what is better or how to go about it, but such debate is at the heart of what we want to do. No system is perfect, and in education we are united in trying to improve the education that is provided at all levels, in formal and informal education, for all learners. I hope that this forum can contribute to discussing how that can be done.

    Seán Delaney Presenter/Producer

    Aug 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm