Get real about Teacher Shortage Crisis

Geraldine O'Brien - ASTI President
Geraldine O'Brien - ASTI President

“The teacher shortage crisis is undermining children’s and young people’s education and must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” the new ASTI President declares.

“The Government must get real about addressing the factors that are making teaching in Ireland unattractive. While the teacher shortage problem goes back several years, research indicates it is now at its worst. Housing difficulties, teachers’ workload, and the fact that schools are starved of essential resources are key reasons behind this,” said Ms O’Brien.

In an ASTI/ Red C survey carried out earlier this year, three-quarters of school leaders reported that they had received no applications for an advertised teaching post in the 2022/23 school year.  Eighty-one percent said they had to employ at least one unqualified teacher during the year.

ASTI President Geraldine O’Brien said:
“The Government must tackle housing issues affecting young workers. Teachers’ working conditions must also be tackled through proper investment in schools and in the teaching profession. The OECD report Education at a Glance 2022 ranked Ireland 36th out of 36 countries in terms of investment in second-level education as a percentage of GDP. What this means is under-staffed and under-funded schools, leading to burnout and demoralization amongst teachers.”

“Education must continuously evolve, this is a given,” Ms O’Brien continued.

“However, it is teachers who best understand what will work in the classroom. It is teachers who drive change in the classroom. Therefore, side-lining teachers will have implications.”

Originally from Drumkeerin in Co Leitrim, Ms O’Brien is a teacher of Home Economics, Computing, CSPE, and SPHE at St Joseph’s Community College, Kilkee, Co. Clare. Previously, she served as ASTI Vice President, Standing Committee Representative for Clare, Limerick North, Limerick South, and Nenagh, and Vice Chair of the Clare ASTI branch.

“The 2023- 2024 school year is an important one for the future of the teaching profession and for education in Ireland. My objective is to follow in the footsteps of President Miriam Duggan, RIP. Miriam, who sadly passed away in June 2023, demonstrated tenacity and courage in standing up for teachers, students, and education.”

The ASTI represents over 18,000 second-level teachers.


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