The Teaching Council hopes that a worker will be able to report concerns openly. However, the Teaching Council also understands that a worker may wish to raise a concern in confidence.
There is an obligation on the Teaching Council when it receives a protected disclosure to protect the identity of the discloser. However, it is important to note that the protection of a worker’s identity cannot be guaranteed in all cases and can be disclosed in certain circumstances.
The Act provides that the discloser’s identity will be protected except where:
The recipient [The Teaching Council] shows that he or she took all reasonable steps to avoid the disclosure.
The recipient had a reasonable belief that the discloser did not object to his or her identity being disclosed.
The recipient had a reasonable belief that the disclosure was necessary for
The investigation of the wrongdoing concerned
The prevention of serious risk to the security of the State, public health, public safety or the environment.
The prevention of crime or prosecution of a criminal offence
The disclosure is otherwise necessary in the public interest or is required by law.
Some of the above exceptional circumstances may apply where a disclosure is made about serious matters to the Teaching Council. You should note when making a disclosure that raises serious concerns about child protection or certain serious matters of a criminal nature, the Teaching Council has an obligation to report such matters to the appropriate authorities, which may include An Garda Síochána and or Tusla (the Child and Family Protection Agency).
If you request that your identity remains protected by keeping your identity confidential, the Director of the Teaching Council, will not, save in exceptional circumstances outlined above, disclose your identity without your consent.
Where a worker has a concern about their identity being revealed and possible penalisation, the worker should contact the Director of the Teaching Council and appropriate measures can be discussed and where possible, measures taken to protect confidentiality. If it is not possible for the Teaching Council to investigate a concern without revealing the worker’s identity, the Director will discuss with the worker, whether the Teaching Council can proceed to investigate the disclosure. For further information about how the Teaching Council investigates protected disclosures, please see question 15 below.