People Before Profit Waterford calls on the Education Committee and the Public Accounts Committee to immediately investigate governance issues in the (Education and Training Board) ETB structures. Vast sums of public money are being used to fight staff who speak up against this issue. Any teacher viewed as trouble is moved on or dismissed, problem principals are promoted without any investigations.
Una Dunphy, People Before Profit Waterford said: “These entities are entering their second 5 year term, with no review of how they have delivered for the public. Huge issues regarding treatment of staff have been batted away, only to reappear as problems elsewhere. There is no accountability.
People Before Profit is aware of four ETBs in particular, that have had litanies of problems since their creation in 2014.
Parliamentary questions asked by People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith to the Minister have received far from satisfactory responses, constantly citing the autonomous nature of the ETBs. These are public bodies and need to be held to account.
Ms Dunphy continued to say: “Teachers, SNAs and parents have contacted me regarding their treatment and the treatment of their children in ETB schools/centres. It falls well below shoddy and is unacceptable. Complaints raised are not treated with the proper procedure, which denies people natural justice. Favoritism and nepotism are blatant. Management with a build-up of complaints are moved along or promoted.”
The merging of FAS with VECs has created political powerhouses, corporate structures funded by the exchequer in the form of massive bureaucracy incorporating SOLAS, then ETBI, then the ETBs and finally front-line staff. We could employ an SNA for every Special Needs student and have ample teachers employed throughout the country were the money directed at delivery of education. The ignoring of issues by Minister Joe McHugh and Junior Minister with responsibility, John Halligan is unacceptable. It is telling that Fianna Fail spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne has nothing to say, when one of the most troubled ETBs is in his constituency.