‘Learner Protection Fund’ should be matched by ‘Teacher Protection Fund’ following LanLearn debacle
July 24th: Unite today said that the Qualification and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill published by Higher Education Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor leaves English Language Teachers behind.
Commenting, Unite Regional Organiser Roy Hassey said:
“Our members are angry but not surprised to learn that there is no mention of teachers in the draft legislation.
“The English Language Teaching sector has been built on the backs of workers, with precarious employment conditions rife and some teachers earning as little as €13 per hour.
“The focus of public policy has been on protecting students while leaving teachers behind, and this proposed legislation continues that trend – ignoring the fact that both teachers and students are crucial to the sector.
“Unite is particularly disappointed that the new ‘Learner Protection Fund’ provided for in the legislation is not being matched by a ‘Teacher Protection Fund’, especially in the wake of the LanLearn closure in Limerick which left teachers high and dry.
“Much of the focus of this legislation is on encouraging and facilitating language colleges to obtain an International Education Mark – whereas many colleges would be better advised to strive for a Fair Employment Mark.
“Unite will be making our views known during the public consultation process, and will be vigorously lobbying vigorously lobbying for amendments to the bill, including a Fair Employment Mark and protections for teachers in the event of a sudden school closure”, Roy Hassey concluded.