County Limerick principal demands review of ‘outdated’ teacher allowances

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

THE principal of one of County Limerick’s biggest secondary schools has called for a “root and branch” review of middle-management positions at post-primary schools across the country.

THE principal of one of County Limerick’s biggest secondary schools has called for a “root and branch” review of middle-management positions at post-primary schools across the country.

Noel Malone, principal of Colaiste Chiarain in Croom says the current management structures are “outdated” and need to be changed.

He says there is little or no opportunity, at present, for younger teachers to achieve promotion, as the current system is skewed towards seniority.

“As a consequence, there is little or no turnover or fresh vision and energy in many instances. Stasis often sets in,” he said.

In a strongly worded statement Mr Malone, who has overseen the growth of Colaiste Chiarain over the past decade, said the current system of allowances for positions such as assistant principal and yard supervision needs to be reviewed urgently.

“I believe that many principals and deputies are very frustrated at the situation which has been allowed to develop, where schools have become almost paralysed in terms of outdated and restrictive practices, which often work against the best interests of the management of a modern post-primary school.”

Noel Malone says there is “no effective mechanism for review or replacement” of posts of responsibility and he is calling for all such appointments to be made on a fixed term basis.

“The current discussion surrounding allowances to teachers should certainly encompass a value for money analysis of the management structure in our schools and whether it is fit for purpose in the modern age,” he said.

There are 11 different categories of teacher allowances, including a special duties allowance; a position of responsibility allowance; and an allowance for those who teach in Gaeltacht areas.

Mr Malone issued his strongly worded statement during the week in which teacher’s unions are holding their annual conferences around the country.

A full version of this story was published in the Limerick Leader, print edition, dated April 14, 2012