Teachers cannot challenge denial of post-primary recognition, court rules

The High Court has dismissed the application of a teacher refusing recognition to be eligible to work as a post primary teacher.



Fiona Roche of Kildare in Thomastown, Caragh, NAS, has taught elementary in several elementary and elementary schools since 2002.

She was registered with the Teaching Council, the teacher regulatory body since 2006. He claimed that the council’s decision to refuse to recognize him as eligible was erroneous.



He called for various orders and declarations, including the decision of the Council being completely without legal basis, invalid, irrational and contrary to common sense.

The Teaching Council opposed his application primarily on the ground that it was brought out of the three-month deadline for judicial review.



On Thursday, Mr Justice Garrett Simmons dismissed his case, saying the application for judicial review was brought “outside the three-month deadline” set by the court’s rules.

None of the factors seeking extension of time to that extent for bringing up the matter represented a good and sufficient reason for extension of time, he said.



Furthermore, he said, none of these factors were beyond the control of him or his legal counsel.

He said the legal issues involved were not particularly complex and there should not have been any difficulty in preparing the case within three months.

Ms Roche works at Colaiste Iosagain Post Primary in Portarlington, Co Laois. She teaches religion and CSPE, as well as providing students with hours of guidance and vocational preparation. She continued in that role after a court order last year that she could do so pending the outcome of her legal challenge.

The matter had arisen following a direction given by the Department of Education and Skills to the school, stating that his post would have to be vacated and re-advertised.

When it was re-advertised, she applied for the job, but was told by the Teaching Council in April 2019 that she was “not recognized as a registered qualified teacher for purposes of recognition and employment within the primary school system.” Should be.”

The council also held that she did not meet the qualifications required for subject matter recognition as a primary teacher in the subjects she submitted, religion and CSPE.

The council further stated that she did not meet the criteria required for a professional qualification as a post-primary school teacher and lacked sufficient teaching experience within the field.

Among the reasons for this, the council’s qualification panel said the qualification (Higher Diploma in Further Education) completed by Ms. Roche in 2017 focused on adult and further education.

The primary age limit from 12 to 18 onwards was not covered in this course. While it was noted that relevant areas of study other than psychology and sociology modules were generally major studies in pedagogy relevant to later teaching—primary school evidence was not there, it said.

In her arguments urging the court to extend the time, Ms Roche said the delay was due to the council seeking documents through data requests, availability of counsel, her health and the effects of the lockdown.

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