The Secretariat for Catholic Education acknowledges the situation that schools are facing in terms of human resources. Schools have to adhere to new requirements set in the Collective Agreement whilst having been obliged by the Education Authorities to maximise the number of lessons teachers are assigned. This issue is presently being discussed with MUT.
In the case of Stella Maris College, referred to earlier today by the UPE, the College wishes to clarify that only three teachers have been assigned one lesson over and above the agreed working load. This is being done on a temporary basis until more teaching staff is available. The College is giving these teachers time-in-lieu to compensate for the extra lessons.
Teachers are free to refuse these additional lessons and their decision will continue to be respected by the College. Teachers exempted from replacements already carry out an appropriate number of lessons and other responsibilities.
With regards to educational visits, it is agreed that these are considered as contact time. Teachers doing replacements have been occasionally asked to carry out on a voluntary basis one extra replacement a week over and above their maximum load. When the need of Stella Maris College was greater, teachers were asked to carry out two extra lessons. The head of school and assistant heads of school have also taken on the added task of replacing teachers.
In line with the established procedure, Stella Maris College will continue liaising with Union officials on topics of mutual concern.