The teacher shortage is a disaster for students and teachers
- Over 1,000 teaching jobs remained unfilled with 2 weeks to go
- Oireachtas Committee on Education should be recalled to discuss teacher’s pay and conditions and a potential Dublin Allowance
With the start of the new school year just two weeks away, there are still hundreds of teaching positions unfilled in Dublin.
Labour’s education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD has called on Minister Norma Foley TD to address the crisis.
Deputy Ó Riordáin said:
“We need an emergency sitting of the Oireachtas Committee on Education to address the massive issues in recruiting, retaining and filling posts in teaching.
“This is a major crisis for students and teachers. There’s less than two weeks until schools return, yet there’s no plan in place to urgently fill the posts.
“It’s deeply concerning to hear schools express the depths of the crisis, particularly in the capital. The thought that where schools can’t fill a post, students will be left in a study hall for that class time, is simply shocking and unacceptable.
“Particularly when it comes to covering leave like maternity, paternity or parental leave, the Department of Education has been found lacking. Student teachers simply are not staying in Ireland because they know they can have better paid, better quality teaching jobs abroad.
“Given the depths of the cost-of-living crisis, the majority of our teachers can’t afford to live in the Capital. Coupled with the housing disaster, we are running into a situation where our young people will not have teachers available to them.
“The Government needs to take urgent action to address this crisis. I have written to the Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Education and called for the Committee to be recalled next week to discuss the issue of teachers’ salaries and a Dublin Allowance.
“The Labour Party has consistently spoken about the need to consider a ‘Dublin Allowance’ to help teachers afford to live in the capital.
“A Dublin Allowance could mirror what happens in London where the cost of living outstrips wages. It’s not a silver bullet but it would certainly help. It would allow them to stay in the Capital and continue to provide their students with a high-quality education. It would also help to attract new teachers to Dublin.
“The Government needs to take urgent action to address this crisis. We need to hear from members of the Oireachtas Education Committee and come together to find solutions to address this mess. We have a responsibility to ensure that all children have access to a quality education.”