The Council of Navarra endorses the creation of 350 places for English teachers as it understands that it does not violate state regulations

The Council of Navarra —the highest advisory body of the community— has endorsed the law, approved in April by the Provincial Parliament, which allows the Department of Education to create up to 350 public jobs with a foreign language profile to stabilize the staff of assigned teachers to the PAI —Programme of Learning in English—. This norm was elaborated due to the need to reduce the temporality of the program, in which seven out of 10 professionals are interim.

To access these places, teachers are required to accredit a C1 level in said language, a requirement not allowed in state regulations, since it determines that only official languages ​​and not other foreign languages ​​can be required as a condition of access. In response to the doubts raised about the initiative by the Ministry of Education, Navarra invoked its historical powers and rights in Education and Public Service to regulate the matter. Now, the Council of Navarra has agreed with him and has determined that the approved law is in accordance with the legal system.

This report arrives a month after the regulation was approved, so it has no practical effects, it gives clear legal support against the doubts raised by the Navarrese parliamentary groups that voted against it —all except for the proponent group, PSN , and the Navarra Suma coalition, made up of UPN, PP and Ciudadanos—.

On the one hand, the Council has determined that this rule does not affect Navarre’s competences in Education, but rather the way of regulating the public function, a competence of the Autonomous Community, prior to the Spanish Constitution.

The opinion, requested by the president of the Foral Parliament, should also determine whether this law violates the statutory regime of public officials in Navarra. In this sense, it establishes that this regulation does not alter the existing structure of teaching bodies either in Navarra or in the State as a whole because, as such, a body of civil servants of its own is not going to be created, but simply public places and, as such, as stated in the report, to the extent that this rule “respects the principles of equality, merit and ability, no violation of the legal system is observed”. The Navarre Department of Education has already announced that the access tests for PAI places will be the same as those governed by state regulations to make it easier, if the legislation is changed in the future, that professionals who obtain one of these positions can access to the ordinary civil service regime.

On the other hand, for the Council of Navarra, the creation of positions with a foreign language profile “is due to the needs of the Navarran educational system, and the objective accreditation of a certain level of linguistic competence”. In fact, it refers to a ruling of the Constitutional Court that in 2019 supported the decision of the Catalan Parliament to include a personal interview in the selection methods for public personnel. Based on this jurisprudence, it concludes that the Autonomous Community is not subject to all of the basic state legislation, but as long as the requirement of English to access these positions does not affect the constitutional unity and respects the rights and obligations of the teaching public servant —as it states— will be adapted to the legal system.

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