Concerns over non-inclusive LGBTQ+ culture raised at Templeogue College

Teachers signed a collective grievance addressed to the school's principal amid ongoing tensions between management and staff.

A painting at Templeogue College with a Pride flag on top.
Image: Twitter: @TempleogueCSSp

Staff members at Templeogue College have raised concerns about a “non-inclusive culture and environment at the school regarding LGBTQI+ issues”. According to the Irish Independent, earlier in December, 24 out of roughly 55 teachers signed a collective grievance addressed to principal Niamh Quinn amid ongoing tensions between employees and management.

Among other things, the letter drew particular attention to the treatment of a Pride flag hanging in the canteen of the all-boys secondary school. It also referenced a recent announcement from Minister for Education Norma Foley about a new anti-bullying action plan, which is designed to “ensure schools are diverse, inclusive, and free from bullying in all its forms”.

Teachers called on the management of the Dublin-based institution to commence the first stage of the agreed grievance procedure, details of which are not publicly available.

This comes at the same time that the school has appointed a facilitator in the hopes of easing tensions between staff and leadership. The process was recommended by the Spiritan Education Trust, of which Templeogue College is a beneficiary. Employees recently wrote to the patron group voicing concerns surrounding a “proliferation of collective grievances, legal proceedings, media attention, demoralised working environments and recent negative events experienced by staff”.

Earlier in 2022, 11 teachers signed a separate collective grievance, while four teachers have this year raised cases against Templeogue College with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Two long-standing staff members, Patricia O’Connell and Bríd Stack pursued their complaints under the Employment Equality Act, claiming that they were subjected to exclusionary treatment by senior management after voicing concerns about ageist discrimination. During the course of the hearing, it was revealed that the issue had been resolved outside of the WRC.

Another teacher is pursuing a case under Terms of Employment legislation, while a former employee is also seeking to have their complaint heard by the commission.

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