tensions | 

Teachers at Dublin school raise concerns about non-inclusive LGBTQ+ culture

Templeogue College has appointed a facilitator in the hope of easing tensions in staff and management relations

Katherine DonnellyIndependent.ie

A well-known Dublin secondary school has appointed a facilitator in the hope of easing tensions in staff and management relations.

The Spiritan Education Trust, which is patron of the 700-pupil Templeogue College, recommended the process amidst ongoing discord at the all-boys’ post-primary school.

A source close to the trust said they had recommended to the board that a facilitator should be appointed to “assist them in listening to all staff and hopefully to improve the quality of relationships between staff, and between staff and the leadership team”.

The facilitator has already started work and is expected to report after Christmas.

Last week, 24 of about 55 teachers in the school signed a collective grievance raising concerns about a “non-inclusive culture and environment at the school regarding LGBTQI+ issues”.

Among the issues raised in the letter they sent to principal Niamh Quinn was the treatment of an LGBTQ+ flag in the school canteen.

The staff requested that the first stage of the agreed grievance procedure be set in train.

The letter referred to the recent announcement by Education Minister Norma Foley about a new action plan on bullying and her comments that it was designed to “ensure schools are diverse, inclusive, and free from bullying in all its forms and where individual differences are both valued and celebrated”.

Last week, staff also wrote to the Spiritan Education Trust to express concerns about a “proliferation of collective grievances, legal proceedings, media attention, demoralised working environments and recent negative events experienced by staff”.

Earlier this year, 11 teachers at Templeogue College signed another collective grievance citing a number of concerns.

Last month, two long-standing teachers at the school brought cases to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), claiming victimisation.

They pursued their complaints under the Employment Equality Act.

The teachers, Patricia O’Connell and Bríd Stack, alleged they were subjected to exclusionary treatment by the senior management team at the school because they made complaints of ageist discrimination.

However, in the course of the hearing, it was announced that the matter had been resolved.

Another teacher has a separate case listed with the WRC. This is being pursued under Terms of Employment legislation, which covers several conditions relating to an individual’s employment.

Separately, a former member of the teaching staff is seeking to have a complaint against the school heard at the WRC.

The school was contacted for comment.

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