Catholic Teachers Are…..Lazier????

I’m still trying to work out the rationale behind this question posed by Gregory Campbell and reported in the Newsletter, but it would appear the DUP MP is exercised by the slightly higher levels of staff absenteeism in Catholic Maintained schools than in their largely protestant Controlled counterparts. Perhaps there are others out there who may have an informed opinion on the thinking of the prominent DUP man. Maybe he is going to highlight stress levels in schools as being the root cause, as was the case for the defence proferred by supporters of the RUC and Prison Officers in not-so distant times, when absentee rates became a headline story. Those of us involved in education will just have to wait, breath-abated of course….

  • willis

    Stephen Elliott from The Parental Alliance for Choice in Education also called for the maintained sector and teachers unions to “explain why this is so”.

    “From a parental point of view, we are concerned whenever we don’t have the frontline services being provided to our system,” he said. “The first service that needs to be provided to our children is the presence of the teacher in the classroom. “Let’s have the unions stop worrying about other issues and do the job they are paid to do, which is be in the classroom. They are public servants – let them serve the public. Words do not reassure parents one little bit.”

    Clearly a man who understands why unions exist. Let me explain Stephen. Unions exist to represent their members and Teachers teach, easy really.

  • fair_deal

    Questions about absenteeism is a legitimate one to assess how well the CCMS fulfil on their management responsibilities. The CCMS is the management body for the maintained sector. A comparison with the controlled sector the most obvious one available.

  • Groover

    Doesn’t say much for the management responsibilities of the RUC/PSNI and Prison Service then FD?

  • Yer Woman

    First Ian Jnr complains about the behaviour of GAA players, Snr accuses McAleese of hating Northern Ireland, and now Campbell sticks his nose in Catholic schools affairs.

    What next – Donaldson to query the expense Derry Feis mothers go to on their Irish Dancing off-spring?

  • matt

    Amazingly once again the DUP has shown its true colours. Mr Greg ‘oh i love da taigs’ campbell cannot work out that ccms represents over 8000 teachers – da ha greg thats quite a few. Maybe he should concentrate more on securing jobs for londonderry than putting the boot into catholic maintained schools. must be terrible being jealous of an effective sector

  • “campbell cannot work out that ccms represents over 8000 teacher”

    Forgive me but what’s that got to do with anything?

    “Doesn’t say much for the management responsibilities of the RUC/PSNI and Prison Service then FD?”

    Unlike the police, the CCMS would seem to have counterparts (in the ELBs) similar enough to warrant comparison.

    Frankly I’m amazed. If the SDLP or Sinn Fein had received the same answer to the same question we’d probably hear the same reply “ie why is this happening? what are the parties concerned doing about it?” followed by a sustained MOPE about discrimination against CCMS schoos.

    Has slugger simply to be a forum for regular playground sniping across the sectarian divide?

  • Jill Robinson

    But isn’t dumping on the Catholics simply the DUP’s raison d’etre, if you’ll pardon my French.

    What else has Mr. Campbell ever done? Any worthwhile stuff? Where can I find this guy’s resume?

  • Mick Fealty

    Definitions of Whataboutery and Playing the ball. More importantly, co-operative rules govern even the stiffest conflict.

    Hope that helps.

  • Alan

    There have been a series of PQ’s asked by the DUP that seek information about issues on a sectarian basis.

    I have to say however, that there are two MP’s who are especially interested in this kind of cultural myopia. Both of them men, and with an interest in the river Bann.

  • willis

    A better question might be “Why is the difference so great in the Southern Board?”

  • willis – spot on – but asking why the difference in the maintained sector in the first place is still a valid question.

    Alan – Everything any politician in this country does is on a sectarian basis – it’s a fact of life.

  • wild turkey


    the 2001 census of population indicates there are approx 35,000 teaching and research professionals. though obviously all this number are not employed as primary and/or secondary school teachers we are still talking about large numbers of PEOPLE here.

    yeah there are differences in the AVERAGE days of sick leave taken by the two sectors. but an obvious question is the difference SIGNIFICANT in a statistical sense? ie does the differences between the averages indicate they are indeed drawn from different populations.

    considering the numbers involved (10,000 20,000?) at first glance it would appear the differences are insignificant. oh yeah, the obvious caveat applies that tests of statistical significance in and of themselves does not necessarily EXPLAIN anything. but its a start.

    there are stratightforward statistical tests to sort this one out. DENI could do it. and they haven’t.

    in the absence of any meaningful analysis of the data the question appears to be the latest effort from the good ole boys stunt department.

    anyone have any idea how much it costs to answer these half-assed PQs?

    Maybe Slugger should run a special weekly spot on the most incisive and penetrating PQs?

  • I think people need to hold there horses here, and go back to what Campbell actually said:

    “…called for the Department of Education to establish the reason for the trend. He said the main thing is to minimise staff absenteeism.” I


    It’s depressing to know that every utterance of every Unionist is being fed through the MOPE filter.

    It’s like a variation on Paxmans maxim (try saying that three times quickly)
    [i]why is this lying bastard lying to me ?[/i], only instead we have the Nationalist version [i]How is this orange bastard oppressing me this time?[/i]


    I’m TAFKABO, not Willis.

  • Groover

    Probably TAFKABO beacuse every utterance lately from unionist originbates in their own mopery: underinvestment, poor education etc. etc.

  • These accusations of MOPEry are getting out of hand… I suggest it go onto the same list that b1g0t is on… accusing someone of being a MOPE adds nothing to the conversation. If that’s going to be the level of debate one might as well go back to ATW.


  • I agree it makes for poor debate. But the real problem in this discussion is the inattention to important detail. Rather than banning, I’ve tried to argue that what we need is for people to adhere to higher standards in their contribution to the debate. otherwise, I’m not sure it was worth the trouble I went to get these comments switched back on again.


    I note that problem with name thing. I am working on it now!

  • I always worry about finding a “trend” in a set of statistics, which may or may not be reflective of a general pattern which would apply to a broader sample… e.g. the last 10 years.

    If one takes two arbritrary groups and applies a restrictive criteria of measurement e.g. absenteeism, it would be very surprising if both groups exhibited identical results. If one had applied the same criteria and seperated based on the sex of the teacher, or hair colour, the results and inferred “trend” might well prove similar. All in all I think this is probably a waste of time as given the population of the samples the discrepencies are statistically insignificant anyway.

    This is a minor hobby horse of mine because I get charged more than other people for Car Insurance due to the fact that I have a penis…


  • willis

    From here on in I will post my name in body of text.

    willis – the real one

  • What you talkin’ ’bout willis?

    (sorry it’s probably been done before but I couldn’t resist)

  • smcgiff

    ‘This is a minor hobby horse of mine because I get charged more than other people for Car Insurance due to the fact that I have a penis…’

    Not that you’d give up your penis for cheaper car insurance! ;¬)

  • willis

    Perhaps this quote from a great sage can lend some perspective to this debate.

    You don’t like your job, you don’t strike. You go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way. ~The Simpsons by Matt Groening, spoken by the character Homer Simpson


  • susan

    Prehaps the reason for the slight difference lies with management. Teaching is a high stress profession and I would wonder if there is adequate support in place. Rather than coming out with predictable kneejerk remarks such as laizy civil servants or jumping to sectarian conclusions. Or is that too logical and boring?


    This is a minor hobby horse of mine because I get charged more than other people for Car Insurance due to the fact that I have a penis…

    I think it’s because, according the statistics, having a penis means it is more likely you will have an accident.
    On the bright side, that selfsame penis means you will be likely be paid more for doing a similar job to those without one.

  • “I think it’s because, according the statistics, having a penis means it is more likely you will have an accident. ”

    My point exactly… according to the statistics. Here’s a thought experiment, if I showed by research that African-Irish people were more likely statistically to have an accident than indigenous white Irish people would AXA be allowed to charge them more?

    Yet institutionalised sex discrimination is alive and well in the insurance industry. Do you think they would get away with charging more if women statistically had more accidents?

    I may well be paid more for doing a similar job, this, however is wrong, and should not be the case… two wrongs do not make a right.