Information for second-level teachers in Ireland.
Croke Park Hours
Under the terms of the Public Sector Agreement 2010-2014 (The “Croke Park Agreement”) teachers were required to work an additional 33 hours per annum (the “Croke Park Hours”). These hours were in addition to additional hours already in place for some parent-teacher meetings and some staff meetings.
The use and timing of these hours was set out in Circular 0025/2011 as follows.
- The central purpose underlying the provision of additional time is to provide for essential activities as outlined in paragraph 5 below to take place without reducing class contact/tuition time. At present, schools lose tuition time in providing for these activities and it is intended that the use of these additional hours will eliminate that loss.
- Over the course of the school year, the additional time provision amounts to 33 hours. Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraphs 5 and 6 below, there will be consultation with the teaching staff at school level as to the optimum usage and scheduling of these hours in order to meet the requirements of the school and to significantly eliminate the erosion of class contact time.
- The hours in question may be utilised by schools in the manner set out at (a) or (b) below or by a combination of (a) and (b).
(a) School management may designate the usage of the 33 hours in blocks of 1 or 2 hours (save in the case of additional parent/ teacher meetings where the existing time provisions set out in Circular M58/04 will apply). Except as set out at (b) below, these will be scheduled over the course of the 167 day school year and the time period should be scheduled outside the normal school hours.
(b) Where there is a consensus among the school staff to so do, school management may utilise all or part of the hours in question outside of the 167 days during which the school is open for tuition. Similarly, where there is a consensus, school management may utilise all or part of the hours in blocks of more than 2 hours over the course of the 167-day school year. In such event, the time period should be scheduled outside the normal school hours.
- The quantum of the 33 additional hours available in the case of part-time teachers will be determined on a pro-rata basis.
- School management may designate the use of the 33 hours to provide additional time to deal with some or all of the following items.
- school planning and policy development (including subject planning)
- staff meetings
- parent teacher meetings (in line with the agreed formula for such meetings)
- nationally mandated inservice/ Continuous Professional Development e.g. new programmes or syllabi
- approved school arranged inservice/ Continuous Professional Development
- appropriate further education activities as set out in Appendix 1
- substitution and supervision (see paragraph 6 below)
- The additional hours should be utilised for purposes of substitution and supervision only to the extent to which they are not fully utilised for the other purposes specified above. Teachers who are not contracted into the Substitution & Supervision scheme will have their residual hours designated for purposes other than substitution and supervision.
- The 33 hours are over and above additional time provided for under existing agreements in relation to parent/teacher and staff meetings. In the case of staff meetings, school management may utilise some of the additional hours to remove the ‘half in’ element of these meetings.
- The usage of the additional hours will be outlined as appropriate in the school calendar, which is made available to the school community at the commencement of each school year.
Following representations from the teacher unions, this circular was amended and now 10 of the 33 Croke Park hours are available for planning and development work on other than a whole-school basis. This means that teachers can use up to 10 hours at their own discretion and as approved by school management.
In addition, there is a commitment to a review of the Croke Park hours with the aim of optimising the most professional and valuable usage of the 33 hours by teachers. The ASTI is pressing for timely engagement on this.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to the questions we get asked the most here.
Frequently Asked Questions Croke Park Hours
My principal has scheduled a meeting to begin 15 minutes after the school closes and to continue for an hour after that. This means that I have to remain in school for one hour and 15 minutes after school closure time. The... Read more
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