Presumably the vast majority of last September’s new pupil intake to national schools was at the most junior level. This would also have applied to most of those with language and other special needs. These young children, and their teachers, currently have the shortest school day.
Would extending that school day, by, say, one hour, help to ameliorate the impact of increased class sizes by allowing teachers spend more time with their young pupils?
In the stroll to the benchmarking ATM, many routine daily duties were categorised as “extras” in order to justify the payment of significant salary increases to teachers. It has been clear for quite some time that any fresh benchmarking exercise, conducted objectively, would result in salary reductions for much of the public service. That would probably include many teachers.
In those circumstances, is it reasonable for the government to expect teachers and their unions to come forward with constructive proposals to help resolve the current problem, without incurring extra cost for the taxpayer?
Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Times.
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