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UPE Articles

Delayed Statements Placing Burden on Classroom Educators

Educators Struggle as Students Await Statements of Needs

Primary school educators are facing a challenging situation as students with severe difficulties, who would greatly benefit from the support of a Learning Support Educator (LSE), have yet to be provided with statements of needs. This delay is placing an additional burden on educators and hindering the learning environment.

“Teachers and Kindergarten Educators (KGEs) are unable to effectively deliver lessons, negatively impacting the entire class.”

Numerous teachers and LSEs have raised concerns with the Union of Professional Educators (UPE), highlighting the introduction of several challenging students into Kindergarten and Primary classes without the necessary statements of needs. As a result, teachers and Kindergarten Educators (KGEs) are unable to effectively deliver lessons, negatively impacting the entire class.

Furthermore, LSEs assigned within these classes are unable to assist the teacher or KGE, as they are already supporting students who have been issued statements of needs. In response to this issue, some schools have resorted to assigning reliever KGEs and shared LSEs from different classes to provide support in such cases.

Despite informing the Ministry about the problem at the beginning of the scholastic year, no significant action has been taken to address the issue. Although top-level officials have been made aware and have assured the Union that they are working on a resolution, no progress has been made thus far, causing further frustration.

Therefore, the UPE has filed a trade dispute and will be implementing the following directives, effective from 20th October 2023:

1. Shared LSE’s members of the UPE are not to support non-statemented students, as their priority lies with their own statemented students. In the event of their students’ absence, they may only be utilized as replacements with statemented students or to cover 15-minute breaks for 1-to-1 LSE sessions.

2. KGE and KGE Relievers members of the UPE are not to accept non-statemented students in the classroom who present a health risk or disrupt other students due to their behavior. These students should be refered to the appripriate services for statementing in order to recieve adequate assistance through established procedures. 

3. Teachers members of the UPE are not to accept non-statemented students in the classroom who pose a health risk or disturb other students due to their behavior. These students should be refered to the appripriate services for statementing in order to recieve adequate assistance through established procedures. 

“The UPE has filed a trade dispute…”

It is crucial for the Ministry to prioritize the provision of adequate support for students with severe difficulties in order to create an inclusive and effective learning environment for all. Members of the UPE are encouraged to invite other colleagues to join the union by visiting upe.mt and to seek help they are to email the union at info@upe.mt or call on. 99946582 or 21221252 

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