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Written Answers. - Promotion of Women Teachers.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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 16. Miss Harney Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the action, if any, she proposes to take to assist in overcoming barriers to promotion for women teachers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6688/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach The report of the Second Commission on the Status of Women concluded that the fact that so few lay women teachers become principals is a result, in part, of a lack of experience of interviewing by selection boards. In particular, the commission pointed to a lack of sensitivity to gender issues on the part of selection boards.

The commission also noted that most teachers believed that being male is an advantage in securing a promotion. Only a small number believed that being female is helpful in securing a promotion.

The White Paper on Education, Charting our Education Future, states that the principals of schools will be selected on the basis of procedures prescribed by the Department of Education, following consultation with the relevant interests. Officials of my Department will shortly commence discussions with the partners in education [1393] regarding revised selection procedures for the appointment of principal teachers. The issues raised by the commission will be taken into account in these discussions. In particular, adequate representation of both sexes on selection boards and an awareness of gender equality issues by members of boards will be addressed as part of these discussions.


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