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ID of Student: G00332426

Article/Reading: Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers (The Teaching

Council, 2016)


The Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers is a widely available piece of literature which is
linked to the teaching profession in Ireland and the responsibility of its members. It applies to all
registered teachers in Ireland and it has three main purposes; It ‘serves as a guiding compass as
teachers’ (The Teaching Council, 2016) who yearn to be noteworthy and honourable in the teaching
profession. It can be used by anyone within the education community of Ireland and the wider public
to express their understanding and expectations of the teaching profession. And finally, it is the main
‘legal standing’ and reference point for the Teaching Council in exercising its investigative and
disciplinary functions under Part 5 of the Teaching Council Act, 2001-2015 ( Office of the Attorney
General, n.d.), dealing with fitness to teach.

The Code then begins by establishing the four core ethical values of the teaching profession, respect,
care, integrity and trust. The role of a registered teacher is to teach;
1) Respect; In their professional manner, teachers should promote equality, emotional and
cognitive development. Also, teachers demonstrate respect for spiritual and cultural
values, diversity, social justice, freedom, democracy and the environment.
2) Care; Teachers should be motivated by the best interest of the students entrusted care.
Teachers show this through positive influence, professional judgement and empathy in
3) Integrity; Teachers should show through there exercise, honesty, reliability and morality.
4) Trust; Teacher/ Students relationships should be ones of fairness, openness and honesty.

The Code then proceeds and illustrates the professional responsibilities and standards which the
Council believes to be central to the practice of teaching. These are frames under the headings; values
and relationships, integrity, conduct, practice, professional development, collegiality and
collaboration. For example, in the conduct section it states that a teacher should take all reasonable
steps in relation to the care of pupils/students under their supervision, so as to ensure their
safety and welfare. The Code gives detailed information on all six standards set out by the
Teaching Council.

Being a legal document the Code acts as a reference point as if needed. The Code is basically a
foundation of what is excepted for the teaching professional, in how he/she acts and interacts with
fellow Teachers, with students/pupils and with the wider school community. As stated in the Code the
role of a teacher is to educate; care, respect, integrity and trust. The Teaching Council have a set of
standards stated in the Code that relate to all registered teachers regardless of their position. The Code
has also been developed in the context of the Council’s future role in relation to Continuing
Professional Development (CPD).

The final section in the Code is the Complaints Relating to Registered Teachers, in this section the
Code explains the procedures for dealing with difficulties and complaints at school level. It states that
the Teaching Council will offer the best possible solution to any day to day problem. There is then a
list of the adequate reasons why a person may make a complaint against a registered teacher.


The author, The Teaching Council, in my opinion have provided the reader with a very well structured
and detailed piece of information about the responsibilities and roles that are expected by a qualified
teacher. The document gives superior structured information on the standards expected by the Irish
Teaching Council. I believe that the Code is one that is far superior compared to others that I have
scanned like, The Code of Professional Conduct in Canada (The Alberta Teachers' Association ,
2004- 2006) in my opinion the Canadian one is vague and does not illustrate enough information on a
very extensive and important piece of education.

My first point I want to raise about the article is its structure. The document format is one that I found
very effective. It has quite a short length, 9 pages, which are easy to follow and read. I found that the
language used is appropriate to all intended users, by any qualified teacher or by a member of the
general public. From my observation if I were to suggest one improvement it would be to either
increase the text size or else increase the spacing in the paragraphs. This strength could also create a
weakness as the points are not elaborated in all cases. The Code overall gives a provides a good
argument overall with very useful information.

Section 1.2 states that teachers should acknowledge and respect the uniqueness, individuality and
specific needs of pupils/ students and promote their holistic development, in my opinion I am on the
against side of school’s uniforms. Yes, I do think that is important that all pupils/ students should be
dressed appropriately, and this should be advertised be the appearance of the teachers. Why should a
boy/ girl dress the same as all the others in the school, in education we strive to bring out the
individualism in our students work so why are we halting this in the way they appear. An interesting
article from the shows that, ‘Opponents contend that school uniforms: Violate a
student’s right to freedom of expression & Are an unfair additional expense for parents who pay taxes
for a free public education.’’ (Wilde, 2018) The development of a pupil as a whole (holistic
development) is something that a teacher is required to be responsible for while a student/pupil is in
there classroom.

Although the Code has also been developed in the context of the Council’s future role in relation to
Continuing Professional Development (CPD), I believe that the code needs to comply with the new
Junior Cert Reform that is being rolled out in Ireland. As stated in section 2. Professional Integrity, 2.2
the term well-being is stated. Primarily with emphases on the topic of well-being, as I believe that
with mental health issues a very topical issue in todays world. I have found that the NCCA guidelines
(National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, 2017) are beneficial to teachers but there are no set
guidelines set out in the Code.

Leading on from student well-being section 3.5 illustrates that a teacher is required to report, where
appropriate, incidents or matters which impact on pupil/student welfare. This is one that is very
topical to our subject areas as in our classrooms there are dangerous machinery and equipment. From
my experience on school placements I have been required to read up incident report procedures for the
school before I was allowed into the classroom. Above all else the safety of the pupils and you as the
teacher is the upmost most imperative responsibility of a teacher.

This Code is one that I consider as ‘a guiding compass as teachers’ (The Teaching Council, 2016)
which is very important in education and in all means of live. A main part of my Philosophy of
Education, the term ‘self- actualization’ is one that I like to promote in my classroom, as I believe that
students, and also teachers, work to their best potential when they have a goal to reach. ‘’Society can
require publicly recognized professions to hold its members to high ethical standards but the
profession itself must establish the ethical norms that govern their work and form the basis of the
relationship of trust with society’’. (Legault, 2006) It is not just the Teaching Council in Ireland that
has a Code to follow as we as citizens all have to be eithical.

For the professional development as a teacher I consider this Code as stepping stone to becoming the
foremost professional that I can become. ‘’Teaching may not have missed out on the ethics boom
altogether, but what the research does suggest is that the kind of education being offered about the
ethical dimensions of the profession is out of step with broader efforts to professionalize teaching.’’
(Maxwell, 2017). I found that by backing up the ‘Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers’ (The
Teaching Council, 2016), and by reviewing Maxwell’s ‘Codes of Professional Conduct and Ethics
Education for Future Teachers’, Philosophical Inquiry in Education’ it gives me as a future teacher a
self-actualization for my future as a teacher.


The Teaching Council, 2016. Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers. The Code of Professional Conduct for
Teachers published by the Teaching Council, Issue 2nd.

Office of the Attorney General, n.d. Teaching Council Act, 2001. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 1st October 2018].

Wilde, M., 2018. [Online]

Available at:
[Accessed 3 October 2018].

National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, 2017. NCCA. [Online]

Available at:
[Accessed 2 October 2018].

The Alberta Teachers' Association , 2004- 2006. Code of Professional Conduct, s.l.: s.n.

Legault, G. (2006). Professionalisme avec ou sans profession [Professionalism with or without professional
status]. In L. Thiaw-Po-Une (Ed.), Questions d’éthique contemporaine [Questions in contemporary ethics] (pp.
603–625). Paris, France: Stock

Maxwell, B. (2017) ‘Codes of Professional Conduct and Ethics Education for Future Teachers’, Philosophical
Inquiry in Education, 24(4), pp. 323–347. Available at:
direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1162787&site=eds-live (Accessed: 3 October 2018).