In order to facilitate its work, the council has established a number of committees, groups and panels. Details of the functions and membership of each of these are set out below.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee is designed to facilitate the efficient and effective functioning of the Council by conducting the business of the Council between general meetings. Its specific functions include the following:
- Providing a co-ordinating mechanism to take action on overarching issues as they may arise
- Acting on behalf of the Council when, due to time constraints or other circumstances, it is not possible to arrange a general meeting of the Council
- Making interim orders on behalf of the Council in urgent situations where the Council is unable to meet at short notice
- Reviewing and making recommendations to the Council in respect of the establishment, membership, terms of reference and continuance of committees
- Reporting regularly to the Council.
The Executive Committee is composed of the following members:
Micheál Ó Gríofa (Chair)
Bernadine O'Sullivan (Deputy Chair)
THE INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE
When Part 5 of the Teaching Council Act, 2001, is commenced, the Council or any person may apply to the Investigating Committee for an inquiry into the fitness to teach of a registered teacher where:
- The teacher has failed to comply with or has contravened the Teaching Council Act, 2001, the Education Act, 1998, the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, the VEC Acts, 1930 to 1999, or any regulation, rules or orders made under those Acts
- The teacher’s behaviour constitutes professional misconduct as defined by the Teaching Council Act, 2001
- The Teacher’s registration is erroneous due to a false or fraudulent declaration or misrepresentation or
- She or he is medically unfit to teach.
The Council will not routinely become involved in day-to-day contractual or disciplinary matters, or in hearing complaints which can be more appropriately dealt with at local level.
When it is deemed appropriate to do so, the Committee will refer an application to the Disciplinary Committee.
The Investigating Committee is composed of the following members:
Bernadine O'Sullivan (Chair)
Bríd Ní Raghallaigh
THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE
A panel of the Disciplinary Committee will conduct a hearing on a complaint referred to it by the Investigating Committee. This hearing is conducted in accordance with Section 43 and Schedule 3 of the Teaching Council Act, 2001, and the associated rules and procedures which have been drawn up by the Council. Based on the hearing, the panel may make a finding of unfitness to teach, or it may dismiss the application. The panel makes it report to the Disciplinary Committee.
Where a finding of 'unfitness to teach' is reached, the Committee applies an appropriate sanction which may involve withdrawal of registration on a temporary or permanent basis or continuing registration subject to a number of conditions.
The Disciplinary Committee is composed of the following members:
Micheál Ó Gríofa (Chair)
Derbhile de Paor
THE REGISTRATION COMMITTEE
The Registration Committee advises the Council and makes recommendations in all areas relating to the registration of teachers by the Council. This work includes advising and making recommendations on:
- The regulations governing registration
- The processes for implementing such regulations
- The process used for the review of panel decisions
- The composition and terms of reference of Primary and Post-primary Applications Panels and the Evidence of Character Panel
- The appointment of assessors to assist the Applications Panels and the Review of Decision process
- Advising the council on the form of certification to be issued
- Criteria and guidance for the assessment of qualifications for registration purposes
- Issues relating to Evidence of Character and probation.
In addition, the Registration Committee, acting on behalf of the Council, reviews registration application decisions made by the Primary and Post-primary Applications Panels and the Evidence of Character Panel, where so requested by the applicant. It does this in accordance with the Review of Decision process adopted by the Council.
The Registration Committee is composed of the following members:
Michael Barry (Chair)
Diarmuid Ó Murchú
THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
This committee has responsibility for drafting submissions and making recommendations to the Council on a number of areas of the Council's work including:
- The standards of education and training that should apply to persons entering programmes of teacher education in the State and the review and accreditation of such programmes
- The review of the standards of knowledge, skills and competence required for the practice of teaching
- Matters relating to the induction of new members into the profession
- The promotion of the continuing education, training and professional development of teachers and the review and accreditation of programmes of continuing professional development
- The drafting and review of codes of professional conduct for teachers
- The promotion of teaching as a profession to potential new entrants
- The Council's communications strategy
- The Council's research policy.
The Education Committee is composed of the following members:
Fergal McCarthy (Chair)
Derbhile de Paor
THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
The Finance Committee oversees the Council's financial affairs including the preparation of the annual budget, the ongoing monitoring of income and expenditure and the Council’s general administrative arrangements.
Its functions include:
- Reviewing and reporting on the financial affairs of the Council
- Considering the annual budget
- Reviewing actual income and expenditure against the budget at regular specified intervals during the annual budget cycle and ensuring a revised budget is prepared where necessary
- Supervising the disbursement of funds
- Reviewing and making recommendations with respect to the Council’s fees
- Liaising with and preparing accounts for the auditors.
The Finance Committee is composed of the following members:
Milo Walsh (Chair)
Prof. Michael Hayes
THE AUDIT COMMITTEE
The Audit Committee monitors the systems, financial controls and procedures of the Council to ensure they operate in an orderly and efficient manner.
The Audit Committee is composed of the following members:
Joan Russell (Chair)
EVIDENCE OF CHARACTER PANEL
The Council's Evidence of Character Panel assesses the Evidence of Character of applicants seeking to register as teachers with the Council. It does so in line with guidelines which have been approved by the Council, and which are available here.
Where the Panel decides that an applicant's evidence of character renders her/him unsuitable for registration purposes, the Panel will notify the applicant of its decision, the reasons for that decision and the courses of action open to the applicant at that point. The Panel then prepares a report for the attention of the Registration Committee.
The Evidence of Character Panel is composed of the following members:
Eleanor Petrie (Chair)
PRIMARY APPLICATIONS PANEL
This panel reviews the recommendations of staff and/or external assessors in respect of the suitability, for registration purposes, of applicants' qualifications in the primary sector. It reports to the Registration Committee.
The Primary Applications Panel is composed of the following members:
Ken Fennelly (Chair)
Bríd Ní Raghallaigh
Diarmuid Ó Murchú
POST-PRIMARY APPLICATIONS PANEL
This panel reviews the recommendations of staff and/or external assessors in respect of the suitability, for registration purposes, of applicants' qualifications in the post-primary (including further education) sector. It reports to the Registration Committee.
The Post-Primary Applications Panel is composed of the following members:
Noel Buckley (Chair)