Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education in Seanad Eireann, Senator Robbie Gallagher says that lack of action and planning by the Government to determine future teaching needs in schools is already having an effect as schools re-open for the new school year.
A report on the over-supply of teachers in certain subject areas, while teacher shortages are emerging in other areas was presented to the previous Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan and has been sitting on Minister Bruton’s desk since his appointment.
“The system for training teachers is unplanned and uncoordinated. It should take regard of the requirement of schools and trainee teachers but it does not. This is leading to an over-supply of teachers for some subjects while there aren’t enough teachers to fill vacancies in other areas.
“I have raised this issue in the Seanad on a number of occasions but Minister Bruton and his Department have done nothing to rectify this problem. The Minister cannot even say if there are enough positions available in each subject area for teacher training.” Said Senator Gallagher.
“An audit needs to be carried out to determine which subject areas need more teachers and which are over-supplied. This will help achieve a more sustainable approach to the future supply of teaching jobs. This is especially important when you consider that enrolments at second level are expected to increase by 8% by 2020 and a further 10% by 2025. This will exacerbate the current teacher supply problems unless decisive action is taken by Government,” he said.
“Lack of action will have a knock on effect on graduates seeking to secure teaching jobs and schools will continue to struggle to recruit teachers they need in subject areas such as Irish, Maths, the Sciences and business studies. The Minister can no longer sit on his hands on this issue.” he said.