Drop in Leitrim VEC teacher allocation as four retire

The Department of Education has allocated 10 teachers less than expected to Leitrim VEC schools for next term.

The Department of Education has allocated 10 teachers less than expected to Leitrim VEC schools for next term.

The news came last Monday (Feb 27) at the VEC meeting as outgoing CEO John Blunnie announced the retirement of four teachers from the Leitrim vocational sector.

The allocation of 83.49 teachers for the five Leitrim VEC schools for 2012/2013 term, is a drop of 10-11 teachers on this term. Mr Blunnie said the big drop was a “problem” but “not the end of the world” as special education teachers have not been fully allocated and an appeal process will take place before the definite number of teachers is settled on.

Four long-serving teachers will retire from their posts in the VEC schools today, Wednesday, February 29. Out of the four, only one, John O’Donohue, has decided to stay on to teach Leaving Certificate classes up to the exams.

Walter Sharpley, Deputy Principal of Carrigallen Vocational School and Pat Wrynn, senior teacher in the same school will take their leave today. In Mohill Community College, senior teacher Francis Butler and John O’Donohue who was Deputy Principal will also take up the retirement offer.

Between the four of them, they have over 150 years of teaching. Mr Blunnie admitted, “It is a blow to lose four experienced senior staff at once.”

Chairperson of the VEC, Damien Brennan said the teachers “made an enormous contribution to the schools” and he wished them a long and happy retirement.

The good news was that was the hours of the retiring teachers have been “replaced in-house” as younger non-permanent teachers will be taking over the subjects until the end of this term.

Mr Blunnie said that the VEC will be appealing the loss of two teaching posts for Career Guidance Counselling which was abolished in the last budget. Mr Blunnie said two posts served the five VEC schools and their hours will be appealed and a case made in March.

It will be up to new Acting CEO Martin Fallon to take on the fight and appeal the teacher allocations of VEC schools next term.