The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation has called on primary teachers to vote yes in the upcoming Children’s Referendum. The union which represents 32,000 primary teachers said a yes vote would strengthen child protection measures by giving constitutional backing to those acting in the best interests of children.
Sheila Nunan, general secretary of the INTO welcomed the holding of the referendum and said the proposed amendment puts the best interests of children at the centre of decision-making.
She said state intervention must continue to be the exception rather than the rule and be proportionate to the risk to the child.
But she said where intervention is required for the child’s safety and welfare then there must be constitutional backing for that intervention.
Ms Nunan said the referendum would add to the already significant work underway to improve child welfare and protection.
“These include the Stay Safe programme and Children First. Every school is now obliged to have an up-to-date child protection policy and all teachers are implementing the Children First guidelines on child protection in schools.”