Presbyterian Board challenging TSC over recruitment process for primary school teachers

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Presbyterian Board challenging TSC over recruitment process for primary school teachers

The Presbyterian Board has followed through with its threat to take the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) to court, over changes made to the recruitment process for denominational primary school teachers.

The denominational board is challenging the refusal of the TSC to approve its recommendations for filling vacancies for the position of Teacher 1 (Primary) and make the necessary appointments, as well as the commission’s decision to advertise vacancies for those positions in schools controlled and managed by the Presbyterian Primary Schools’ Board of Education.

Attorneys for the board notified Teaching Service Commission (TSC) chairman Elizabeth Crouch on Tuesday that it had filed for leave for judicial review.
The board is represented by attorneys Darrell Allahar, Aaron Mahabir and Matthew Allahar.

The board’s application has been assigned to Justice Westmin James and a date is yet to be set for hearing.

The attorneys say the matter should be deemed urgent, since it involves filling vacancies at denominational schools in line with the 1960 Concordat.

They also said an urgent determination was needed to avoid a deadlock between the board and the TSC which could result in no teachers being appointed to its primary schools in time for the new school term in September.

The board’s contends that the TSC’s changes exclude input from the denominational boards, as mandated by the Concordat – a pre-Independence agreement between the government and heads of the various religious denominations.

The new recruitment process would require all Teacher I (Primary) vacancies across all schools to be advertised. The board argues that the new process is unlawful.

It said it would cause “the erosion of assurances given by the Concordat” and that halting the established process and starting a completely new one was not only unlawful but arbitrary.

There are currently 30 vacancies for Teacher 1 (Primary) at 21 Presbyterian primary schools.