The first hearing into a teacher’s fitness to practice in an Irish school is due to take place in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, this morning.
Details of the complaint made against the teacher have not been made public yet and it is understood he or she will not be identified.
Since the ‘Fitness to Practice’ legislation took effect last July, the Teaching Council has received around 50 complaints, but only half of those have been investigated further, and this case is the first to go to a full hearing.
Anyone including colleagues, parents and even children can make a complaint but those considered frivolous or vexatious will not be pursued.
The council has the power to strike a teacher off the professional register, but lesser penalties include suspension and an offer of support to improve performance.
The legislation provides for hearings to be held in public but they can also be held in private, either in full or in part.
It is not yet clear if the public will be allowed into today’s hearing, the first of its kind, but it is understood the identity of the teacher in question will be protected.
The hearing has been set down for two days.