The GSD is concerned about reports reaching it about last-minute plans in preparation for the start of the academic year spanning across a series of areas. The Opposition seeks that the Government explains why they have been the subject of such inexcusable delay.
One of those areas relates to the selection of teachers from the supply list. It is hugely irresponsible and unfair for the Government to issue invitations for applications for vacancies for teaching posts with less than 24 hours’ notice. The GSD understands that an email went out yesterday afternoon, after 12pm, inviting personal statements to be submitted before 12pm the following day, i.e., today. It has to be understood that the vacancies span all the schools, including St Martin’s and both comprehensives and that the doors are due to imminently open for pupils tomorrow or the day after, depending on the school.
These vertiginous timings and deadlines beggars belief. The organisational impact, not least on time-tabling and class planning, is huge and the Government needs to explain how it has allowed itself to get into this mess.
The impact on the lives of those individuals on the list also cannot be ignored. It is wholly unfair that these professionals should have to put everything on hold during the summer months not knowing, literally until the 11th hour, whether they will be given a teaching post or not.
It is not clear to the GSD why schools are not told who is going to be filling teaching slots at the start of the summer break and allow them sufficient time to organise time-tables well in advance of the following academic year. The predicament schools now find themselves in could have been avoided.
The further issue which is equally unforgivable impacts on St Martin’s and Early Birds Nursery. Parents of pupils were, incredibly, not aware of the start of term dates until very recently. Again, as with supply teaching, we are now close to the eve of the start of the school year. St Martin’s, a school which caters for children
with special educational needs, whose needs are often more complicated and dependent on routine and careful planning should be given priority in this respect.
The GSD also fails to understand why some Learning Support Assistants have not yet been selected or told which school they are to go to at the start of term.
There are also reports of delays in respect of school/government nursery transfer applications with families not knowing where their children are to attend.
“These issues highlight the need for basic management and organisation. Our teachers and pupils deserve better. They deserve answers, transparency and accountability” said Damon Bossino for the GSD