42% of student teachers consider dropping out due to financial pressures

42% of student teachers consider dropping out due to financial pressures
Student teachers pictured holding the report outside Leinster House, Kildare Street Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

More than one in four student teachers consider dropping out due to financial pressures.

A new survey found it was the biggest concern for those in work placement.

The report outlined the average cost of placement for student teachers per week totalled €160 a week for just travel, resources and materials, food, and the Gaeltacht fee payment.

It also found that 71% hold part-time jobs during this time to cover these expenses.

96% of current students find their time on placement highly stressful indicating finance as the main driver for stress and 89% of current students and 79% of graduates say that the compulsory Gaeltacht fee is too high.

Speaking at the launch, Union of Students in Ireland President Michael Kerrigan, said:

The reality is, students can’t cope with the cost of living without another job on top of this and the €1,500 Gaeltacht fee is an extra cost put onto student teachers alongside the €3,000 registration charge. The average cost of college is €12,500 while students, in Ireland are paying the second highest fees in the EU, after the UK, on top of another €1,500 a year for a Gaeltacht fee. It’s time our Government valued student teachers, otherwise we’re faced with a drought of talent with the shortage of teachers reaching crisis point.

Graham Geraghty from Galway is a student teacher at St Angela's College in Sligo he says the unions must bring this to Cabinet.

He said: "If you are doing it and you've made the commitment to your programme and to your career, you'll go above and beyond, you'll do anything for your learners.

"I can definitely see why there is a fall, I think it is the work of our unions such as the Teachers Union of Ireland and the Association of Secondary Teachers to bring this to the prominence of Cabinet."

Over 3,000 students were surveyed in total.

- Digital Desk

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