A new survey has revealed that one in four schools have reported allegations of child abuse to the HSE.
The survey of more than 500 primary school principals found that a quarter of them have referred an allegation of child abuse onto the HSE - but 60% felt that the support provided to them was 'fair to poor'.
A further 71% believe the follow up mechanisms were also fair to poor.
Teachers say the HSE places emphasis on sexual abuse, and that issues of neglect and physical abuse do not appear to be a priority.
The Irish National Teachers Organisation says there is no support structure in place for teachers and is calling for more training to help them carry out their role.