A number of young Irish-born teachers are emigrating to Australia because they cannot afford to live in Dublin – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

A number of young Irish-born teachers are emigrating to Australia because they cannot afford to live in Dublin

A Dublin school headteacher has described the Department for Education’s response to the teacher shortage crisis as a “a disgrace”, reports RTE.

Tonya Hanly said that yesterday she was forced to send two of the school’s substitute teachers home because the ministry said she couldn’t hire them.

The two young teachers worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in Dublin 8 last year, but are taking a career break this year and plan to travel to Australia in two months.

They leave Ireland because they believe they cannot afford to live in Dublin.

The teachers agreed to work as substitute teachers for a few weeks because the school could not fill seven vacant positions.

Ms Hanly said that despite numerous attempts, she was unable to find teachers to fill the positions, reports RTE.

“We advertised about five times. I interviewed three times. I’m on teacher WhatsApp groups. I have gotten on to the teacher training colleges. But I just can’t find teachers,” she said, reports RTE.

Ms Hanly said all seven vacancies were in special education (SET).

She explained that this was because she had been forced to transfer teachers from these positions to ensure she had enough teachers, which meant that children with special educational needs were left behind.

Yesterday the Ministry of Education informed her that she could not pay the two teachers.

According to regulations, teachers who take a break in their career can only fill positions that become vacant as a result of maternity leave or illness, reports RTE.

The positions that Our Lady of Lourdes needs to fill are exclusively full-time, fixed-term contracts.

“I have only three SET teachers where I should have ten,” the principal of this disadvantaged school said, reports RTE.

“These are children who need but haven’t received services like speech therapy and occupational therapy so they really need assistance from us, in terms of their literacy and in numeracy, also in communication, how to communicate effectively with their peers for instance. Because of our demographics we have a lot of very vulnerable children and a lot of children in the tenth percentile [of ability],” reports RTE.

“We are in the middle of a national [teacher shortage] crisis. We knew it was coming and I have been asking the department since last June what are they going to do to alleviate it. They have no idea what’s going on, on the ground, in schools like ours,” reports RTE.

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