ASTI Guidelines on Post of Responsibility Appeals
Circular Letter 0003/2018
The Department of Education and Skills Circular 0003/2018 letter sets out the leadership and management arrangements in second-level schools. This circular contains the appointment procedures for the filling of the posts of AP I and AP II teachers and the appeal procedure which may be utilised by applicants. Appeals should be submitted in accordance with the terms of this circular. Members should familiarise themselves with full details relating to appeals, as set out in the Circular, before submission of an appeal. The following notes are for guidance only.
Considering an Appeal
If a candidate wishes to appeal they can access the following documentation, upon written request, to assist them in formulating the appeal, after s/he is notified of the outcome of the Post of Responsibility appointment process: (i) His/her marks under each selection criterion (ii) The notes of the interview board pertaining specifically to the candidate alone (iii) The marks of the recommended candidate(s) under each criterion (iv) For the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 school years, service in the school/scheme of the most senior applicant.
The Appeal Board
The Appeal Board is appointed in accordance with the terms of Circular Letter 0003/2018. The decision of the Appeal Board will conclude all matters with respect to the appeal without prejudice to the rights of any of the parties to have recourse to litigation. Recourse to litigation, except in the most abnormal of circumstances which are difficult to envisage, is most unlikely to succeed.
The Role of the Appeal Board
The role of the Appeal Board is set out in detail in Circular Letter 0003/2018. The ASTI and the appropriate managerial body each nominate a member to serve with an agreed independent chairperson to hear the appeal.
The ASTI nominated Appeal Board Member, in conjunction with his/her Appeal Board colleagues determine how to progress the appeal in accordance with the terms of the Circular. The role of the ASTI Board Member is not to favour any particular teacher involved in an appeal, be it the appellant(s) or the person who was appointed to the post, many of whom are likely to be members of the ASTI. His or her role is to ensure that the terms and procedures set out in the circular have been followed. In addition, the ASTI Appeal Board Member nominee brings their understanding and knowledge of the practicalities of the school system to the process.
The Role of ASTI Officials
In appeals there are often two ASTI members involved, i.e. the appellant and the person recommended for appointment to the post. In this context, therefore, ASTI officials will give general advice to all ASTI members involved in an appeal and will give specific advice on matters of fact, e.g. appeal date, document access entitlements.
ASTI officials will not assist in the preparation of an appeal or represent members at appeal hearings. Likewise, and for similar reasons, members of Standing Committee will not assist in the preparation of an appeal or represent members at appeal hearings.
Submitting the Appeal
Appeals in respect of competitions for posts of Assistant Principals I, Assistant Principal II and Programme Co-ordinator posts shall be completed electronically on the agreed PDF appeal form. Only appeals completed and submitted using the electronic form will be processed. Appeals submitted after the Appeal Date will not be processed.
The final date and time (4.00 p.m.) for notification of appeals to the Secretary to the Board of Management/Manager/CE shall be stated in the letter outlining the outcome of the appointment process. The date will become known as the Appeal Date and will be at 4.00 p.m. on the seventh school day, with day one commencing on the day after the outcome of the process is issued.
School days are defined as days in which the school is in operation for students. Where the outcome of the competition is notified to applicants in the week immediately prior to the June State examinations, the Appeal Date shall occur within the first 12 official examination days of the State examination period. If an appeal is received by this Appeal Date, no appeal hearing shall be convened before the next school year.
On receipt of an Appeal school management will notify the Appeals Board Secretariat of the Appeal Date. ACCS acts as the Appeal Board Secretariat for Community and Comprehensive schools. ASTI acts as the Appeal Board Secretariat for Voluntary Secondary Schools. ETBI acts as the Appeal Board Secretariat for ETBI Schools.
Section 18. 11 of Circular Letter 0003/2018 states: The Secretary to the Board of Management/Manager/CE will forward the completed PDF management response form and supporting documentation to the Appeal Board Secretariat within 5 school days of the Appeal Date and will simultaneously send a copy of the management response to the appellant.
Grounds for Appeal
The grounds for appeal under Circular Letter 0003/2018 are set out below:
1. Failure to consult staff on the roles and responsibilities as set out in 4.1
2. Breach of the advertising rules
3. Non-notification about the vacancy to teachers on leave of absence/ secondment
- Composition of the Interview Board:
4. Lack of gender mix on Interview Board
5. Incorrect/incomplete composition of the Interview Board
- Marking/Selection Criteria:
6. A computational error in the Interview Board marking sheets which makes a material difference to the outcome
7. A departure from the agreed selection criteria or marking scheme.
The written appeal must set forth the grounds for the appeal. The Appeal Board can only base their decision on the information available to them, therefore the appellant should furnish the widest possible range of reasons to support the case being made. If, for example, a teacher believes that their marks were incorrectly calculated the ground of the appeal is that the process through which the appointment was made was incorrect because a faulty calculation was applied. Among the grounds for appeal that might arise are the following. (This list cannot of course be exhaustive and individual circumstances will determine the grounds for an appeal.)
(a) The notice advertising the post was posted for less than a period of 5 school days.
(b) Every reasonable effort was not made to bring the notice to the attention of all eligible teachers including members of staff on approved leave.
(c) The successful candidate did not have the minimum service in the school.
(d) The closing date for receipt of applications was earlier than 10 school days after the initial date of the posting of the notice.
(e) The category of the post i.e. AP I or AP II was not specified.
(f) The composition of the interview board was faulty e.g. the independent chairperson was not drawn from the appropriate panel or was not appointed by the board of management / manager; the nominee of the board of management / manager was not nominated by the board of management/manager
(g) The criteria to determine the appointment were not applied or there was a departure from the agreed selection criteria or marking scheme.
Processing the Appeal
The Appeal Board will undertake a preliminary review of each appeal submitted, the corresponding management response submitted, supporting documentation and relevant Department of Education circulars/forms appropriate to such competitions.
Where the Appeal Board, having considered the appeal and response, deems it unnecessary to conduct a hearing, it shall notify the appellant and the Secretary to the Board of Management/Manager/CE of the outcome of the appeal within 15 school days of the Appeal Date.
Where the Appeal Board, having considered the appeal and management response, decides that a hearing is necessary, it shall set a date for a hearing within 15 school days of the Appeal Date. In the case of ETBs, the venue will be organised by the ETB and any meetings/hearings that arise thereto.
The Appeal Board may decide to hold a hearing at which to interview the parties.
Purpose of the hearing:
(a) To allow the parties to the appeal to present their respective positions on the appeal
(b) To allow each party to respond to the other party’s position
(c) To allow the Appeal Board the opportunity to seek clarifications on various relevant matters.
The parties are bound by the terms of reference and protocol for the conduct of oral hearings as set out in Circular letter 0003/2018. The parties are required to maintain confidentiality throughout this process and subsequent to the process.
The appellant may be accompanied by a work colleague or friend. The nature of appeal hearing is such that legal representation is not appropriate.
The Board of Management/Manager/CE may be represented by the Principal or a member of the Board and this person may be accompanied by a management colleague.
The normal rules of due process and fair procedures apply.