ST. COLUMBA’S GIRLS NATIONAL SCHOOL
WITH FACILITY FOR DEAF CHILDREN
JOB-SHARING AND CUMULATIVE SUSTAINED LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY STATEMENT
The decision to approve a job-sharing scheme rests with the Board of Management of the school. Each job-sharing scheme will operate for one school year (i.e. 1stSeptember to 31stAugust).
The policy of the Board in assessing a proposal to job-share is to ensure the welfare and educational needs of the children take precedence at all times over all other considerations.
The following principles, approved by the Board of Management, will apply to all job-sharing arrangements, special education or otherwise.
Permanent teachers within the school, with five years service in a permanent capacity, are eligible to apply for job-sharing.
A teacher on a career break or other approved leave of absence may apply to job-share on resumption of her teaching duties.
Intending applicants should be fully aware of the commitments required in a job-sharing arrangement and the general conditions of service of teachers who participate in a job-sharing scheme.
Applications to job-share in a particular school year must be submitted in writing to the Board of Management before 1st February of the year in which they propose to job-share.
A teacher seeking to extend an existing job-sharing arrangement must re-apply to the Board of Management before the 1st February.
ASSESSMENT OF JOB-SHARE PROPOSALS
Each application for a Job-Sharing Arrangement will be considered by the Board on its merits taking into consideration the exigencies and development needs of the school at the time of application with particular regard to :
- the number of post holders who are permitted to job-share,
- the number of teachers in the school who are likely to be on approved leave of absence (e.g. maternity, adoptive or parental leave),
- the overall number of temporary teachers within the school due to teachers availing of, or applying for, special leave of absence (e.g. job-sharing, career break, study leave, secondment etc.), and
- The capacity of the school to recruit and retain suitably qualified temporary replacement teachers.
The Principal will advise the Board of the most appropriate class or special needs area for each job-sharing scheme. Special consideration needs to be given before recommending a job-sharing arrangement for junior infant classes or special needs pupils.
In appraising the Board of the details regarding a proposal to job-share, the Principal will be asked to outline the extent to which the proposed job-sharers are compatible, co-operative, flexible and complement each other’s skills and professionalism.
The Principal will also be asked to indicate the levels of organisational and communication skills displayed by the proposed partners, as well as their attendance records.
NUMBER OF JOB-SHARING POSITIONS IN THE SCHOOL IN ANY ONE SCHOOLYEAR:
The maximum number of Job-Sharing positions that the Board will allow in any one year is 3. This number will be reviewed on an annual basis and may change according as staffing and circumstances within the school changes.
Should the number of applications exceed the maximum number of positions available, the Board will employ the following criteria to adjudicate which applications are successful:
- Each application will be adjudicated on its own merit and the circumstances of each application will be considered on an individual basis.
- Having considered each application on its own merit, all things being equal and in the absence of particular extenuating circumstances, the Board will consider the length of time existing Job-Sharing teachers have availed of Job-Sharing with a view to facilitating those who wish to avail of the facility and have not had the opportunity heretofore.
INTRA- SCHOOL JOB-SHARING:
The Board are reluctant to consider Intra-School Job-Sharing Applications. However, the Board may consider applications whereby there are extenuating circumstances that merit an exception being made to the above position.
In the event of the above exception, Applications from eligible teachers on the staff of another school will be required to present for interview and to provide an up-to-date curriculum vitae together with appropriate references and inspector’s reports.
BOARD OF MANAGEMENT APPROVAL
Once the Board of Management is satisfied that a proposal to job-share conforms with the Board’s stated policy on job-sharing arrangements it will indicate its approval in principle to the proposed arrangement, subject to the preparation of a detailed Work Plan.
The Board of Management’s decision in the matter will be final.
The decision of the Board will be conveyed to each applicant by the 1st March.
Successful candidates will prepare a detailed and comprehensive Work Plan under the supervision of the Principal. This Work Plan should reflect the ethos of St. Columba’s Girls School and should comply with the policies outlined in the Plean Scoile.
A job-sharing Work Plan should adequately address the need for continuity and consistency in programme planning, record keeping, classroom organisation, teaching methodologies and the need for an agreed approach to discipline matters and parent-teacher contact. It should also provide for the use of the combined talents of both teachers as well as assigning responsibility.
Record keeping is highly significant and an essential feature of job-sharing, the monitoring of which is the responsibility of the Principal. Job-sharers are required to maintain a diary or pupil profile in which records of progress and important events are noted.
Meetings, telephone calls or skyped contact should take place as regularly as each job-sharing partnership deem necessary in order to discuss their work and to ensure detailed short-term planning occurs and children’s progress discussed. There should be weekly meetings to do a comprehensive handover of the work done and the work to be done.
The Board of Management should be satisfied that the Work Plan adequately addresses all the key issues outlined above.
ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS’ DUTIES
In addition to fulfilling the requirements of a job-sharing arrangements, special education or otherwise, The Board of Management must be satisfied that the additional special duties assigned by the Board to the holder of a post of an Assistant Principal position will be fully discharged without loss of tuition time for the pupils concerned. Assistant Principals will attend ISM (In School Management) meetings.
Both teachers shall present, along with the principal, an information session for parents explaining the strategy employed to manage, teach and access the class through a job sharing scheme.
GENERAL PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Teachers who are job-sharing are required to participate in and attend relevant staff meetings and relevant parent-teacher meetings, School Development Planning,and Inservice training during the course of the school year whether these meetings take place within, or outside of, Croke Pk Hours.
It is not permissible for a job-sharing teacher to engage in outside employment without the prior consent of The Board of Management and that consent may only be given where it is clear that such outside employment will not affect the teacher’s work in school or be in competition with it.
TERMINATION OF A JOB-SHARING SCHEME
The Board of Management of St. Columba’s Girls School reserves the right to terminate a job-sharing agreement if the arrangement is not operating in the best interests of the pupils. Should such a situation arise during the school year, a job-sharing teacher must resume full-time teaching if directed to do so by the Board of Management. This stipulation will also apply to a teacher on secondment from the staff of another school. The temporary replacement teacher should also be made aware at interview that their appointment may be terminated in such circumstances.
Teachers who propose to job-share should familiarise themselves with Department of Education regulations and conditions of service for approved job-sharing arrangements.
CUMULATIVE SUSTAINED TEACHER LEAVE OF ABSENCE:
Circular 10/2011 ‘ Career Break Scheme for Registered Teachers in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools’ states that a teacher can take a maximum of five years on Career Break in one sustained period and must return to school for the equivalent period before applying for further leave.
Section 4.3 of the above circular outlines the circumstances whereby that rule can be waived.
However, it is the BOM’s prerogative to consider whether or not it is in the school’s best interest to allow an extension of the Department’s stipulation of a five year maximum.
The Board are of the view that the DES’ rationale for stipulating a five year maximum for Career Break leave should also be applied as the maximum stipulation for sustained cumulative leave. ( i.e. a sustained combination of career break, study leave, secondment etc. )
Therefore, the maximum number of years a teacher can take in one sustained period, with any combination of leave, as outlined above, is five years. This is in keeping with the sentiment of the above circular at section 4.2.
Policy Reviewed June 2015
Policy reviewed February 4th, 2021
Chairperson: Dónal Murphy