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Colm O'Rourke's views on Education!

  • 12-04-2012 6:52pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,990 ✭✭✭ Xenophile


    Colm O'Rourke's views on Education!

    The former "great" in many ways Meath footballer and current GAA pundit and commentator had some very interesting and radical things to say about Teachers and Teaching broadcast on Newstalk this morning, can anyone provide a link, it's on segment 3 of this mornings podcast. He is a currently the school principal in St.Patrick's Classical School Navan.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,320 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook


    did he not retire?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 2,491 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dambarude


    Listening to it now - it's on the newstalk player, here: http://media.newstalk.ie/. Click on part 3 of Thursday's show and skip to around the 18th minute.

    Edit: Having listened to it, he's seems more concerned about the decisions he'll have to make as a principal than anything else. He suggests that teacher pay in general should be cut to allow for more teachers to be hired. Principals of long service can probably say that comfortably. He seems to imply that younger teachers with no jobs would prefer if this happened.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,320 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook


    Hmmm, principal eh?Wonder if he'd give up his principal's allowances?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 2,491 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dambarude


    Hmmm, principal eh?Wonder if he'd give up his principal's allowances?

    That's just the thing - he only referred to teachers taking a pay cut. I'd imagine his staffroom could be a bit awkward after the Easter break.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 574 bdoo


    dambarude wrote: »
    Hmmm, principal eh?Wonder if he'd give up his principal's allowances?

    That's just the thing - he only referred to teachers taking a pay cut. I'd imagine his staffroom could be a bit awkward after the Easter break.

    Indeed,

    it seems there are a few of these types advocating a pay cut for teachers. Clive Byrne of NAPD is another. I'm sure if you're on top of the scale plus a large allowance a pay cut doesn't seem drastic. If on the other hand you're at the tail end of it it's a different matter entirely.

    Bear in mind of course that Mr. O'Rourke is surely earning some sort of a wage fro his extra curricular activities at RTE.

    I do not accept that teachers should take another pay cut, no matter how you dress it up.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭ evolving_doors


    I reckon the pay cuts are well on the way, in fairness to rory quinn he did say that reports in the media teachers allowances were unfair (newstalk yesterday) but of course cuts are still on the way

    If pay cuts are announced most teachers probably would be reluctant to strike for long period, probably just a day or two. The public sentiment towards teachers is fairly harsh at the moment, especially if students loose days and parents have to take days off etc. Every media jock and their mother are calling for croke park to be abolished.

    The public really have no idea how 'unprofessional' teaching has become with regards to giving new entrants a decent living. I think when people talk about teachers they need to distinguish between over or under 35 yrs of age. Because theres a hell of a difference. Saw an add in the paper for 2 hrs per week a while back, jeez you wouldn't even offer that to a binman.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 525 vamos!


    Armelodie wrote: »
    I reckon the pay cuts are well on the way, in fairness to rory quinn he did say that reports in the media teachers allowances were unfair (newstalk yesterday) but of course cuts are still on the way

    If pay cuts are announced most teachers probably would be reluctant to strike for long period, probably just a day or two. The public sentiment towards teachers is fairly harsh at the moment, especially if students loose days and parents have to take days off etc. Every media jock and their mother are calling for croke park to be abolished.

    The public really have no idea how 'unprofessional' teaching has become with regards to giving new entrants a decent living. I think when people talk about teachers they need to distinguish between over or under 35 yrs of age. Because theres a hell of a difference. Saw an add in the paper for 2 hrs per week a while back, jeez you wouldn't even offer that to a binman.

    A colleague from the last school I worked in has been offered one class a day for next year. This man has a number of years experience and has been in the school for 2 years. The same man no dobut, has to listen to people telling him how good he has it. It is looking like I will be cut from my current 11 to 5.something next year. I am approaching 30.

    Teachers won't strike. The attitude in my staff room is that everyone is too stretched and won't be able to pay their mortgage if they lose a days pay. I'm not sure what their plan is if they lose their allownces.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 574 bdoo


    There may not be an appetite for a strike but whatever about losing pay for strike days the combined effect of a 20% cut in allowances will be far greater.

    It's not only a pay issue. How many are on short hours? How many young teachers dont have a meaningful contract. In any other job 10 hours might be 2 days work. In teaching you might be expected to attend for 5 full days to deliver those hours.
    Then there are several teachers of the same subject all on short hours when it could be say, a job and a half instead of 4 bits of jobs.
    Now I know that this would mean that 2 people would have no hours in the school but setting the record straight and resisting the casualisation of what's left of this profession needs to start somewhere.

    Teachers need to stand up for themselves and until people see that the work that is being done to hold the ship together as an act of good will that cannot last forever they cannot appreciate the full extent of the cuts.

    To focus the mind think of what has been cut in your school. Now think of the effect it has had on the student and parent experience - Very little I suspect.

    Now think of the effect it has had on you and your colleagues, we are covering up and papering over the cracks with no cutback in delivery of service, public spending may be unsustainable neither is this.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,812 ✭✭✭✭ evolving_doors


    There won't be any specific cuts I reckon but a total overhaul of the system, allowances scrapped and reconstituted into something else...

    Young teachers need to strike separately I reckon, it's the only way to highlight what's going on, older teachers have too much ' baggage' attached in terms of media spin. Apologies for using age as a descriptor..


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,320 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook


    I'm primary and the one of biggest issues I see is the cut in SEN provision. The new clustering arrangements are supposed to save money and help productivity-yet schools have to share clusters with other schools up to 20 miles away,even though the school might have other part time teachers.
    Why not combine hours into one meaningful job, as opposed to having teachers pass other part timers on the roads and spend more time on the road than they spend in a school.What's worse, these posts mean the NQTS can't even do their dips.

    Strike?BRING IT ON.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,244 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout


    bdoo wrote: »
    There may not be an appetite for a strike but whatever about losing pay for strike days the combined effect of a 20% cut in allowances will be far greater.

    It's not only a pay issue. How many are on short hours? How many young teachers dont have a meaningful contract. In any other job 10 hours might be 2 days work. In teaching you might be expected to attend for 5 full days to deliver those hours.
    Then there are several teachers of the same subject all on short hours when it could be say, a job and a half instead of 4 bits of jobs.
    Now I know that this would mean that 2 people would have no hours in the school but setting the record straight and resisting the casualisation of what's left of this profession needs to start somewhere.

    Teachers need to stand up for themselves and until people see that the work that is being done to hold the ship together as an act of good will that cannot last forever they cannot appreciate the full extent of the cuts.

    To focus the mind think of what has been cut in your school. Now think of the effect it has had on the student and parent experience - Very little I suspect.

    Now think of the effect it has had on you and your colleagues, we are covering up and papering over the cracks with no cutback in delivery of service, public spending may be unsustainable neither is this.

    I agree more or less with the rest of your post, but I don't think this is a fair comment. Students have seen subjects removed from their school, reducing their choices, which possibly have a knock on effect on what they can choose in third level. Class sizes are getting bigger which means there is less time given to students. Reductions in SNAs mean students that need help aren't getting.

    My school used to have four classes for English, Irish and Maths in 5th/6th year. Now we only have three. So instead of 4 x 20-23 ish, we now have 3 x 30ish. That has definitely a knock on effect on students, particularly where weak students are in large classes and can't get attention they need.

    We used to provide a timetable of 30 hours class contact time for students (9 -4pm) which was above the minimum required. Now we only provide 28 hours a week, students have 35 minute classes instead of 40, so we could keep all subjects going.

    This has to have a knock on effect on students. It's similar in other places.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,244 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout


    Armelodie wrote: »
    There won't be any specific cuts I reckon but a total overhaul of the system, allowances scrapped and reconstituted into something else...

    Young teachers need to strike separately I reckon, it's the only way to highlight what's going on, older teachers have too much ' baggage' attached in terms of media spin. Apologies for using age as a descriptor..

    Young teachers striking on their own won't work. They have no security. Government aren't a bit worried about them, especially as they know PDE courses are over subscribed and new graduates will do pretty much anything to get their foot in the door in a school and get some hours on contract. Principals/BOMs/VECs are not helping the situation by advertising jobs for little or no hours.

    With PDEs oversubscribed for the last number of years and not enough jobs to go around, Hibernia's second level PDE was given the go ahead, even though job prospects are miserable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,990 ✭✭✭ Xenophile


    People like Colm who dare to be a Daniel in the lions den and speak the minority view fearlessly should be given credit for having the courage of their convictions. I think this was a real scoop by Newstalk. For far too long we were far too happy just to listen to what we wanted to hear.

    Well said, my noble Royal: if speaking truth
    In this fine age were not thought flattery,


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 12,320 Mod ✭✭✭✭ byhookorbycrook


    Yeah, I'd still take him more seriously if he surrendered his principal's allowances and RTE money. Bit like Ed Walshe really.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,990 ✭✭✭ Xenophile


    Yeah, I'd still take him more seriously if he surrendered his principal's allowances and RTE money. Bit like Ed Walshe really.


    So is this the policy of the future, work hard be passionate and honest about what you do and be prepared to give your earnings back if people less principled than yourself make a mess out of running the country!

    If this is the way of the future who could blame decent young people for emigrating?

    Please be real, no one can tell about another's financial situation and if they could it is completely irrelevant.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,639 Miss Lockhart


    He has hardly shown good economic sense in the past so why would anybody listen to his views about budgets for anything?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,000 ✭✭✭ doc_17


    These views aren't new. He's had them for some time.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 574 bdoo


    bdoo wrote: »
    There may not be an appetite for a strike but whatever about losing pay for strike days the combined effect of a 20% cut in allowances will be far greater.

    It's not only a pay issue. How many are on short hours? How many young teachers dont have a meaningful contract. In any other job 10 hours might be 2 days work. In teaching you might be expected to attend for 5 full days to deliver those hours.
    Then there are several teachers of the same subject all on short hours when it could be say, a job and a half instead of 4 bits of jobs.
    Now I know that this would mean that 2 people would have no hours in the school but setting the record straight and resisting the casualisation of what's left of this profession needs to start somewhere.

    Teachers need to stand up for themselves and until people see that the work that is being done to hold the ship together as an act of good will that cannot last forever they cannot appreciate the full extent of the cuts.

    To focus the mind think of what has been cut in your school. Now think of the effect it has had on the student and parent experience - Very little I suspect.

    Now think of the effect it has had on you and your colleagues, we are covering up and papering over the cracks with no cutback in delivery of service, public spending may be unsustainable neither is this.

    I agree more or less with the rest of your post, but I don't think this is a fair comment. Students have seen subjects removed from their school, reducing their choices, which possibly have a knock on effect on what they can choose in third level. Class sizes are getting bigger which means there is less time given to students. Reductions in SNAs mean students that need help aren't getting.

    My school used to have four classes for English, Irish and Maths in 5th/6th year. Now we only have three. So instead of 4 x 20-23 ish, we now have 3 x 30ish. That has definitely a knock on effect on students, particularly where weak students are in large classes and can't get attention they need.

    We used to provide a timetable of 30 hours class contact time for students (9 -4pm) which was above the minimum required. Now we only provide 28 hours a week, students have 35 minute classes instead of 40, so we could keep all subjects going.

    This has to have a knock on effect on students. It's similar in other places.


    you are correct of course but I wonder how aware of this the students and parents are its,the perception that the cuts are not affecting service and that now teachers are actually working that needs to be addressed, I should have been clearer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,244 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout


    bdoo wrote: »
    you are correct of course but I wonder how aware of this the students and parents are its,the perception that the cuts are not affecting service and that now teachers are actually working that needs to be addressed, I should have been clearer.

    I think they're very aware of it, in our case anyway. Kids spend less time at school and they are in bigger classes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,351 ✭✭✭ Littlehorny


    Colm o Rourke as anyone who lives in Meath knows is a fairly wealthy man outside of his day job. He gets well paid for his punditry work and was involved in building projects over the years. His kids are grown up, i take it he has no mortgage anymore, while as a fellow Meathman i am not attacking him personally i would say it is easy for people at the top to talk about taking a hit financiallyt.
    I wondor how Colm would have felt when he was in his 20s with a young family, mortgage, new job as a teacher and running around the country with his football career if his bosses had told him he should be on less money.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 11,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭ TheDriver


    same as Ed walshe, easy to bash when the bank balance is strong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,000 ✭✭✭ doc_17


    Ed Walsh is hard to listen to. But O'Rourke is slightly different. I think we will have our pay cut again. It's coming down the line and I think it is unavoidable at this stage.

    I just don't see where they can get the savings they need without hitting pay. But O'Rourke is naive if he believes that cuts in pay for established teachers will be used to fund the hiring new teachers.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 11,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭ TheDriver


    but what about the small schools thing? Now I know its a hot potato but it annoys me that there are small schools down the road from big primary schools yet they claim they can't close. Why not? because the majority are church of Ireland. Yet Quinn wants to take the Catholic part of schools away but won't stomach the shutting of tiny COI schools. Why not? I have seen a lot of these and I do feel the majority of kids can just go to another school.
    Procurement: Annoys the crap out of me when we can't buy stuff off amazon etc where I could get a lot of stuff for the school much cheaper. But no. Same with many other supplies, we are ripped off. The NPS contract, most of the stuff on it is rubbish and you end up buying more of it.
    I don't see the Govt tackling insurance costs etc. Or actually amalgamating the VECs, just talking about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,718 ✭✭✭ Tigerandahalf


    I'd agree with you all re O'Rourke. Easy to talk when you're in a safe position financially. I find his comments to be in very poor taste. He comes across as thinking teachers have an easy number. Fine if you are permanent. Given he is a secondary principal he should be well aware of how poor the work situation is for young graduates. He is writing for the Sindo, so who knows what the story is there. That paper is anti-public service so maybe Colm is looking after his column. He also was involved in property development during the boom. As far as I know some of the projects are not going too well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 93 ✭✭✭ carolzoo


    yes, quinn could easily amalgamate the church or ireland school population into the bigger primary schools - by deploying/amalgamating the church of ireland teachers to cover the religious aspect of the curriculum

    that would go with his current theme of non denominational schools!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,718 ✭✭✭ Tigerandahalf


    Re COI...I have nothing against them. But many people are sending their kids to Catholic primary schools and have no choice in the matter. Either you send them to the local Catholic primary school or be prepared for a long drive.
    I'd have more concern for 4/5 year olds having to travel on a cold bus for 20 miles in the morning. I did it when I was young as the bus went on a loop route even though I was only 2 miles from the school itself.
    My sister's coat got it one morning.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,428 Powerhouse


    doc_17 wrote: »

    1) I just don't see where they can get the savings they need without hitting pay.

    2) But O'Rourke is naive if he believes that cuts in pay for established teachers will be used to fund the hiring new teachers.


    1) There are probaly lots of areas they could look at such as not providing lunch for everyone at in-services or paying mileage to teachers doing oral exams (of which I will be one) for often covering more or less the same distance as they cover going to school normally, and probably many many more I am unaware of myself. But pay is much more politically visible so more attractive, but - though I'm not sure what you mean by "coming down the line" - I wouldn't be so confident the government will blatantly break the CP agreement. There are a few itchy feet in the government parties as it is.

    2) Only the terminally naive or maybe a very frustrated wishful thinking NQT would see a link between cuts in pay for established teachers and hiring new teachers. If the government creates such a link then it saves no money and saving money is the whole point. Privately O'Rourke couldn't seriously believe this is a runner.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,718 ✭✭✭ Tigerandahalf


    The gov won't touch pay until Croke Park is finished. It wouldn't be a shrewd move on their part. However, our pay will be threatened again. There is no doubt about that. Are teachers united to strike though?


  • Registered Users Posts: 93 ✭✭✭ carolzoo


    whilst i feel for newly qualified teachers the majority of them would not have mortgages got based on their existing teaching salary as many existing teachers do.

    so many existing teachers have mortgages, home improvement loans, family planning based on their existing wage.

    also house prices etc much more affordable for nqt now.

    that said the part time hours situation in schools is a disgrace. what other profession e.g. nurse, doctor, accountant gets "hours"


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,718 ✭✭✭ Tigerandahalf


    Not necessarily. Many postgrads are in their late 20s/early 30s, are married and have a mortgage. So they are in a very bad position. While house prices are now low, nobody will be in a position to buy until they are permanent.
    Teachers I feel are too divided to strike long term.


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