Education Minister must intervene as ‘influencer teachers’ film paid partnerships in schools

06 July 2023

Labour education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has urged the Minister for Education and her Department to issue a circular to all teachers regarding filming paid partnership social media posts within the classroom.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“There’s a broader conversation happening at the moment of what is and is not appropriate in terms of advertising and ‘sponsored content’ in RTÉ.

“It seems that there is a total lack of clarity from the Department of Education for influencers who are employed as teachers in schools nationwide.

“It has emerged in recent days that Horse Racing Ireland has paid ‘influencer’ teachers to use its ‘Road to Racing Primary School Programme’. Posts include images of children in the classroom in the background.

“This is highly inappropriate and the Department must intervene.

“Many teachers make use of social media to share and collaborate on ideas around classroom resources and education concepts. Teachers find it a useful way to share engaging educational content that they can bring back to the classroom. There’s no issue with this.

“Where the issue arises is taking money from companies and profiteering off the back of their students, classroom and school community.

“Granted, social media influencing is a relatively new concept but the actions of Horse Racing Ireland to use ‘teacher influencers’ to promote itself demands Ministerial attention. In addition to investigating what happened here, I would urge the Minister and the Department to issue clear guidelines to all teachers on social media use in the classroom.”

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