Dublin schools in ‘crisis’ over lack of teachers to fill job posts

The lack of teachers to fill open positions has put Dublin’s schools in crisis.

The cost of living crisis is cited as a contributing factor in Dublin’s primary and secondary schools’ inability to hire new teachers or locate temporary substitutes.

Dublin is second only to Co. Wicklow in its inability to recruit substitute teachers, according to a recent survey by the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN).

In the survey, Dublin principals returned a shocking 98% in response to difficulties they experienced in recruiting teachers at short notice.

Last week a group of concerned parents, teachers, past pupils and members of the Blanchardstown community met to form Coolmine Community School Action Group.

The group and local councillors have expressed concern over the recruitment of secondary school teachers in particular. Worried mum Sandra told Dublin Live that posts for woodwork and metalwork teachers at her son’s school have still not been filled.

She said: “My son goes to Coolmine Community School and I was shocked to learn that there are still vacant positions for teachers to do metalwork, woodwork and graphics. I’m worried for my son’s missing the class with no full-time teacher for months.

“I really do think that the Department of Education needs to help schools that are finding it difficult to recruit teachers. It’s definitely down to the cost of living crisis too because they can’t find affordable homes in Dublin, so more needs to be done so our children and their education won’t suffer the consequences, ” she added.

Another mum told Dublin Live that she had “no idea” that her son hasn’t had classes in metal work for months. She said: “It came as a shock to me hearing that they’ve not had a class in metal work for months because there’s no teacher. It’s a big worry at the moment on what will happen next.”

On Monday 14 November the Coolmine School Action Group had a successful online meeting which was attended attended by local councillors, General Secretaries of ASTI/TUI union, education stakeholders and parents. Meanwhile, local Councillor Tania Doyle who also attended the meeting also believes that it is the is cost of securing affordable and appropriate accommodation that is the underlying issue for the current teacher shortage.

She described how Coolmine Community School is now at a “crisis point in woodwork, metalwork and graphics with the inability to fill these posts.”

Cllr Doyle told Dublin Live: “I was just asked to attend the meeting with other reps and the action group was set up by parents and teachers of the children in Dublin 15. It’s really bad, it’s secondary school children doing without classes like woodwork and metal work and technology type of classes because there’s no teachers.

“It’s a knock-off effect for the price of housing, rent, cost of living, and paying conditions. It’s a huge issue that is across the board in primary and secondary schools.” Cllr Doyle said: “Yet again our children are being left behind and scapegoated through no fault of theirs by a system with no foresight and will to “do better”. Pay, conditions, contracts and a lack promotion opportunities are significant drivers. However, the lack of affordable and appropriate accommodation, both in the owner occupier and rental sectors has massively escalated this problem as new teachers cannot afford to live and work in Dublin 15.”

Cllr Doyle added: “It’s crisis after crisis in Dublin 15. I know it’s across the board but children with additional needs, autism, housing crisis and cost of living crisis and teachers shortage crisis now.

“I and my fellow Independent colleagues within the Oireachtas will continue to challenge and put pressure on this Government and what ever Government we may see in 2023 to make efficient and tangible change before another crisis becomes an epidemic.”

Dublin Live has contacted the Department of Education for comment.

There is also set to be a follow up meeting organised by the Coolmine School Action Group which is set to take place on Monday, 5 December at 8 pm via Zoom.

News Source: Dublin Live

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