Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 04/04/2023. Tags: Education And Politics
Three quarters of school leaders reported that they received no applications for an advertised teaching post or posts in the current school year, according to a Red C/ASTI survey published today.
The survey indicates that there are unfilled teaching vacancies in almost half of all second-level schools.
Eighty-one per cent of principals/ deputy principals surveyed said that they had employed at least one unqualified teacher this school year. Other strategies used by schools to deal with teacher supply issues included delegating additional work to teachers in the school and reassigning Special Education Needs teachers to mainstream classes. Almost a fifth of schools were forced to remove a subject/subjects from the curriculum.
Recruitment problems were compounded by the non-availability of substitute teachers, the survey finds. Since September 2022, almost 9 in 10 schools have had situations where no substitute teachers were available to fill teacher absences due to sick leave and other short-term absences.
The survey of teachers and school leaders was undertaken in March 2023.
Teachers who participated in the survey identified four key drivers behind the teacher supply crisis:Teaching is no longer viewed as an attractive profession
Better remuneration in other careers
The legacy of unequal pay for teachers which was introduced in 2010
The housing crisis, which is causing teachers to emigrate
Impact on students
Commenting on the survey findings, ASTI President Miriam Duggan said: “We are deeply concerned about the impact of teacher shortages on our students; on their education and on their future lives. Today’s survey reveals that schools are being forced to use unqualified teachers, to divert resources away from students with special education needs, and to drop subjects from the curriculum. This is shocking.
“Teachers’ workload is also adversely impacted by teacher shortages. Teachers are being asked to teach subjects they are not qualified to teach, to supervise additional classes and to change their rotas at short notice. This invariably causes extra work and stress.”
Job satisfaction amongst teachers continues to drop: 44% of teachers said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their job compared to 50% in 2022 and 63% in 2021. More than three quarters said they have considered leaving the profession with over a quarter frequently considering doing so.
Teachers believe that better pay, permanent posts for recent entrants, and reduced workload are required in order to make teaching a more attractive career choice and help curb teacher shortages.
Difficulties recruiting school leaders
Over three in five principals and deputy principals said that they are aware of local schools experiencing difficulties recruiting principals. Heavy workload, impact on work-life balance, and complexity of the role are cited as obstacles to recruitment. Principals also described experiencing a high level of stress from being always on ‘contingency-mode’ due to vacant posts and the lack of substitute teachers.
Source: ASTI Press Release