Commencement of Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act 2001 has been delayed yet again, this time by another three months. Section 30 prohibits the Department of Education and Skills (DES) from paying any person who is employed as a teacher in a school unless he/she is registered with the Teaching Council. This section of the Act was supposed to have commenced from November 1st, with the DES official Twitter account, as recently as October 11th, Tweeting the following reminder to teachers:
Less than a month left to register with @TeachingCouncil From 1st Nov teachers must be registered to be paid by State http://t.co/93Pbynbn9Z
— education.ie (@Education_Ire) October 11, 201
On Friday last, the DES published Circular 52/2013 stating that the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, will sign the commencement order for Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act 2001 on 1st November 2013 but that it was to take effect from 28 January 2014. This is despite the Minister announcing the commencement date of November 1st at the teacher conferences at Easter and the issuing of Circular 0025/2013 on May 15th 2013. Explaining the reason for the delay, the Minister said:
“I will sign the commencement order on November 1st as I previously committed to doing. But given the number of teachers who have still failed to register, I have now reluctantly agreed with the Teaching Council to extend the deadline for teacher registration.
The extension of the deadline for teacher registration to 28th January will ensure that the pay of practising teachers is not stopped in advance of Christmas. The commencement order that I will sign next week cannot be revoked, so I would urge those who still need to register to do so immediately to avoid serious pay consequences in the future. It is in all of our interests for all of our children to be taught only by registered teachers who engage in continuous learning and development – from 28th January 2014, that will be the case.”
The news has been met with some dismay, with the INTO stating that “the Minister’s promise of an implementation date in the new year will have little credibility with teachers”. The INTO added that, “It is the view of the INTO that the standing of the Teaching Council has been further undermined by the failure to meet the deadline for completion of professional registration”.