03 Jul 2022

'Be in control' - TD urges Education Minister to find way out of substitute teacher crisis

'Be in control' - TD urges Education Minister to find way out of substitute teacher crisis

'Be in control' - TD urges Education Minister to find way out of substitute teacher crisis

A TD is urging Minister of Education, Norma Foley, to find a way out of what has been called a substitute teacher "crisis". 

The call comes from Labour's Education Spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who stated school communities are concerned that children will have to be sent home due to a lack of resources. 

Deputy Ó Ríordáin told the Minister to intervene and said, "The Minister and her Department need to be in control here and find workable ways out of this crisis for school communities." 

He continued: "I have previously called on the Minister and the Department to engage with school communities and unions on the issue of substitute teachers which has been well flagged with the Department. Unfortunately, every issue seems to take the Department by surprise leading to adhoc, unworkable arrangements for schools." 

According to the deputy, changes must be made to the substitute supply panel as well as additional recruitment of primary school teachers. 

He said, "My office has been inundated with contact from principals and teachers who are frustrated at the lack of engagement by the Department. They need additional supports to get them through the Covid crisis which school communities are doing their best to manage. It’s time for the Department to show some leadership here." 

The Teaching Council of Ireland (TCI) released a statement in May this year announcing a change in teaching requirements, whereby teachers who have qualified abroad can complete their induction in Ireland. 

According to TCI, this change was part of measures to address Ireland's teaching vacancies in a number of positions, including supervision and substitution roles. 

It's expected this will continue throughout the forthcoming 2021/22 school year.  

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