99% of principals and deputy principals report recruitment difficulties in survey

99% of principals and deputy principals report recruitment difficulties in survey

Almost 100% of principals and deputy principals surveyed on staff numbers, have said their school has had problems recruiting teachers, while more than half said they have had difficulties retaining teachers in the past year.

The Teachers Union of Ireland said the findings of the survey of 150 principals and deputy principals - including that 99% had recruitment difficulties - points to a staffing crisis. Three-quarters of respondents said a situation had arisen where no teacher applied for an advertised teaching post in their school in the past year.

The online survey, conducted over November and December 2018 also found that:

  • 58% identified their school as experiencing teacher retention difficulties in the previous twelve months
  • 91% believe that recruitment and retention difficulties have impacted negatively on the service to students
  • Irish, Maths, French, Home Economics, Spanish and Physics were among the subject areas in which the most severe recruitment/retention difficulties were experienced.
  • TUI President Seamus Lahart said the teaching profession can no longer compete with employment options in the private sector “as a result of the pay discrimination inflicted on those who commenced employment after 2011”.

    “These alarming findings outline the clear damage that has been inflicted on the profession and the education system, with schools experiencing severe difficulties in both the recruitment and retention of teachers,” Mr Lahart said.

    “The findings are consistent with the fall of over 50% in the numbers applying for places on the Professional Master of Education (PME) postgraduate teacher education courses between 2011 and 2018.

    Progress has been made on reversing the cuts to pay of new and recent entrants to the profession. However, there can be no such thing as partial equality.

    He warned that without action the situation would greatly worsen especially with an additional 2,000 second-level teachers needed in the system in the next six years.

    “An ending of this blatant discrimination is required if the education system is not to continue to lose out to other jurisdictions and other forms of employment,” Mr Lahart said.

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