Primary School Teacher shortage

Purple

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In 2017 there were over 1593 primary school teachers on career breaks (1,348 female and 245 Male). Career breaks are granted with the caveat that the teacher in question can be replaced with another suitably qualified teacher. I assume that no career breaks have being granted in the last 12-18 months but does anyone have a link to specific information on this?
 
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Purple

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Sorry but the idea that there is a shortage of primary school teachers is highly distorted.

Education jobs has 71 positions advertised for primary school teachers right now,


of these none, zero, zilch, nada, are permanent jobs.
Please stop letting the facts get in the way of the story. These people are heroes, putting life and limb on the line all day, every day of the year... okay 183 days of the year... okay 5 hours and 40 minutes a day... but they are heroes!
They run the risk of being cut with a child's safety scissors and have to put up the the trauma of children colouring outside the lines. You've no idea what it's like... what's that, you went to school?... oh, and your children also went to school so you actually have a reasonable idea what the job involves? Yes, but what about Covid? What's that you say, teachers are no more likely to get Covid than the general population? Oh, yea, but they are still heroes! Why? Ehhh, because they keep telling us they are?
 

Peanuts20

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Sorry but the idea that there is a shortage of primary school teachers is highly distorted.

Education jobs has 71 positions advertised for primary school teachers right now,


of these none, zero, zilch, nada, are permanent jobs.

I know in the case of the school my kids go to, the approach is to hire temporary in the first instance, primarily to fill career breaks and then those people, assuming they are capable, are in prime position when a perm position comes up as a result of retirement. An awful of teachers have retired in the last 18 months as they don't want the risk/hassle associated with Covid and Covid management and remote teaching.

One pattern I do see is that I can think of at least half a dozen teachers, both in the current school, family members and friends who once they have been made permanent then apply for a career break and head off to Dubai or somewhere for a couple of years tax free, safe in the knowledge that they have a permanent job to return to.
 

Peanuts20

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Please stop letting the facts get in the way of the story. These people are heroes, putting life and limb on the line all day, every day of the year... okay 183 days of the year... okay 5 hours and 40 minutes a day... but they are heroes!
They run the risk of being cut with a child's safety scissors and have to put up the the trauma of children colouring outside the lines. You've no idea what it's like... what's that, you went to school?... oh, and your children also went to school so you actually have a reasonable idea what the job involves? Yes, but what about Covid? What's that you say, teachers are no more likely to get Covid than the general population? Oh, yea, but they are still heroes! Why? Ehhh, because they keep telling us they are?
in fairness, plenty of teachers do far more then 5hrs 40 mins a day, whether it is correcting homework, supporting after school activities/sports team or, in the case of small country schools, coming in over the summer to paint the place and do other maintenance. Personally speaking, you couldn't pay me enough to spend an hour in front of a class of feral teenagers trying to drill Shakespeare into them or trying to stop a gang of 6 year olds from pulling someones hair.

As for career breaks, it is up to the employer and not the Dept to decide if it is accepted or not and from my own contacts in the teaching front, I've not heard of any requests being refused but the volume of requests dropped significantly due to the inability of teachers to travel abroad or the fact that their workload dropped significantly due to Covid.
 

Purple

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in fairness, plenty of teachers do far more then 5hrs 40 mins a day, whether it is correcting homework, supporting after school activities/sports team
Very true, I'd say most do a 35-40 hour week, but it's still only 37 weeks a year. And a sixable cohort do the bare minimum, as is the case in any job.
or, in the case of small country schools, coming in over the summer to paint the place and do other maintenance.
Yea, I'm not sure about that now. It might happen but it would be exceptional.
Personally speaking, you couldn't pay me enough to spend an hour in front of a class of feral teenagers trying to drill Shakespeare into them or trying to stop a gang of 6 year olds from pulling someones hair.
No, but I wouldn't want to do lots of jobs. That doesn't mean anything in the broader context.
As for career breaks, it is up to the employer and not the Dept to decide if it is accepted or not
Yea, and that's a big part of the problem. The Department of Education pays the piper but doesn't get to call the tune.
and from my own contacts in the teaching front, I've not heard of any requests being refused but the volume of requests dropped significantly due to the inability of teachers to travel abroad or the fact that their workload dropped significantly due to Covid.
Have you any data on that volume of requests dropping?
 

Peanuts20

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Very true, I'd say most do a 35-40 hour week, but it's still only 37 weeks a year. And a sixable cohort do the bare minimum, as is the case in any job.

Yea, I'm not sure about that now. It might happen but it would be exceptional.

No, but I wouldn't want to do lots of jobs. That doesn't mean anything in the broader context.

Yea, and that's a big part of the problem. The Department of Education pays the piper but doesn't get to call the tune.

Have you any data on that volume of requests dropping?
Anecdotal on the data to be honest, I'm aware of 2 people for example who have delayed submitting a request.
 

Baby boomer

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Mrs Boomer is a retired secondary teacher. She has been contacted repeatedly by her old schools, and other nearby schools, and offered subbing work. For various reasons it doesn't suit us, so all offers have been gracefully declined. The schools have been reduced to taking in subs without any teaching qualifications whatsoever. (Not necessarily a bad thing, BTW, teachers can have other abilities and career experiences that add value to a school.)

However, this appears to be a temporary phenomenon driven by very high sick leave absences in these Covid times. Without doubt, there are teachers who are taking the proverbial, as well as those who are going above and beyond. So it ever was in the teaching world. Except now, the lead swingers have the perfect excuse - any sniffle or "close contact" and it's holiday time.
 

Purple

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Mrs Boomer is a retired secondary teacher. She has been contacted repeatedly by her old schools, and other nearby schools, and offered subbing work. For various reasons it doesn't suit us, so all offers have been gracefully declined. The schools have been reduced to taking in subs without any teaching qualifications whatsoever. (Not necessarily a bad thing, BTW, teachers can have other abilities and career experiences that add value to a school.)

However, this appears to be a temporary phenomenon driven by very high sick leave absences in these Covid times. Without doubt, there are teachers who are taking the proverbial, as well as those who are going above and beyond. So it ever was in the teaching world. Except now, the lead swingers have the perfect excuse - any sniffle or "close contact" and it's holiday time.
And yet from what I hear from teachers every single one of them is exceptional, hard working dedicated selfless front line professionals who just do it because of their vocation.
 

time to plan

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And yet from what I hear from teachers every single one of them is exceptional, hard working dedicated selfless front line professionals who just do it because of their vocation.
I doubt that's true. Sounds like something someone would make up to defend there dubious position on an Internet forum.
 

Baby boomer

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I doubt that's true. Sounds like something someone would make up to defend there dubious position on an Internet forum.
I can assure you that the good ones know exactly who the bad ones are. :rolleyes:
So do the pupils. (Perhaps to a lesser extent.)
So do the parents. (If they take an interest.)

What I see as problematic is when the entire teaching profession is stereotyped as either all saints or all wasters. There are both.

Now, a separate issue is why both are treated more or less the same. That's a management issue.
 

Firefly

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So it ever was in the teaching world. Except now, the lead swingers have the perfect excuse - any sniffle or "close contact" and it's holiday time.
Not sure if anyone remembers Rate My Teacher back in the day. I looked up my own school, about 10 years after leaving and the lead swingers were still swinging lead!
 

odyssey06

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In 2017 there were over 1593 primary school teachers on career breaks (1,348 female and 245 Male). Career breaks are granted with the caveat that the teacher in question can be replaced with another suitably qualified teacher. I assume that no career breaks have being granted in the last 12-18 months but does anyone have a link to specific information on this?
There needs to be an investigation into the gender discrepancy here by some suitably gender balanced quango.

Also, how many of those individuals are politicians or on quangos?
 

Purple

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There needs to be an investigation into the gender discrepancy here by some suitably gender balanced quango.

Also, how many of those individuals are politicians or on quangos?
Given that 85% of primary school teachers are women it looks like men are more likely to take career breaks than women, just to correct my previous post.
 

Leper

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I'm outside of Ireland for several weeks and to be honest I feel safer in Spain from Covid. Three GAA clubs accepted me as a member many years ago and I renew the membership each year as our grandchildren are participating sports people. This week I received several texts from each of the three clubs informing that most underage training has been cancelled until mid January 2022 due to the spread of Covid. The decision is brave from the GAA clubs and it shows that the clubs are concerned about the dreadful spread of the 4th wave of Covid. Many of us on AAM predicted that Covid would spread again many weeks ago. It's not as if nobody could predict as the same thing happened in November 2020 when the Vintners trade informed us the population would be safer drinking under a controlled and clean environment. You remember the pubs were shut down just six weeks later. Nobody can convince me the publicans and restauranteurs acted sensibly back then and the same is happening in November 2021.

The one voice that has been hammering away consistently at the dangers of Covid is that of the teachers. Teachers are not stupid and they know what is really happening Covidwise and they are trying to protect themselves, their families, pupils, school staff etc. They are brave people and face more danger from Covid than anybody I know (including most hospital staff). They are being treated disdainfully by many posters on this forum. With what is happening I'm wondering when will the schools close and before the Christmas holidays. The Covid situation has again been mishandled by politicians despite all the good work previously done. And most of us predicted this.

If I were a teacher and looking in on this thread I'd have no problem forming the opinion that many well educated people here don't give a whit of what is really happening regarding Covid in schools and if the teachers/special-needs people/caretakers/administrative staff don't do something fast, nothing will be done to protect them from further infection of Covid. The signs are there and nobody is listening.
 

Peanuts20

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The one voice that has been hammering away consistently at the dangers of Covid is that of the teachers. Teachers are not stupid and they know what is really happening Covidwise and they are trying to protect themselves, their families, pupils, school staff etc. They are brave people and face more danger from Covid than anybody I know (including most hospital staff). They are being treated disdainfully by many posters on this forum. With what is happening I'm wondering when will the schools close and before the Christmas holidays. The Covid situation has again been mishandled by politicians despite all the good work previously done. And most of us predicted this.

If I were a teacher and looking in on this thread I'd have no problem forming the opinion that many well educated people here don't give a whit of what is really happening regarding Covid in schools and if the teachers/special-needs people/caretakers/administrative staff don't do something fast, nothing will be done to protect them from further infection of Covid. The signs are there and nobody is listening.
I believe firstly that teachers should not all be lumped together into one homegenous group but instead split between primary and secondary. The risk to secondary teachers is no more then the risk facing anyone who has gone back into the office or work (in a supermarket for example) and who spends their working day interacting with a cohort of mostly vaccinated people. Indeed, there is an argument for saying the risk is less, given then shorter hours secondary teachers are in a building and the mask policies in place in most schools which are not always replicated in functioning offices, factories and production lines.

Primary schools are in a different league and there the risk is indeed higher. It's far harder to enforce mask policies with a gaggle of excitable 6 year olds. However, I know in my own case, the goodwill I have towards teachers was reduced during lockdown by the behaviour of some teachers who simply seemed to disappear and make no effort to reach out or contact pupils or teach them in at all and who treated lockdown as an extended holiday. In the case of one of my kids teachers, she finally retired and the difference with a new teacher is remarkable. I'm aware of other parents in another school who had to threaten the Board of Management that they were going to the Dept in order to get them to drag a teacher back to the virtual workplace. I know some teachers claimed "broadband issues" affected them and that may be true but my best mate is a teacher who had that issue at home and every day, he went into the classroom and delivered his virtual lessons from there instead.

Attitude is driven by behaviour and the constant whining and moaning by the teachers unions over the years, crying wolf over every little change, really doesn't help their cause when something major happens.
 

Purple

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The one voice that has been hammering away consistently at the dangers of Covid is that of the teachers. Teachers are not stupid and they know what is really happening Covidwise and they are trying to protect themselves, their families, pupils, school staff etc.
That's just nonsense. Teachers are not statisticians or epidemiologists or virologists or even doctors. They have access to the same data as the rest of us. Their anecdotal ascertains have the same value as anyone else's; none. Until very recently primary schools were of lower risk than most work places. They are currently at a higher risk. A mask mandate in Primary Schools is the solution. Kids all over the world are wearing them, our kids can too.

They are brave people and face more danger from Covid than anybody I know (including most hospital staff).
:rolleyes:
They are being treated disdainfully by many posters on this forum.
I think most of them are reasonably good at their job and provide a reasonably adequate education for the children they teach. It's the "the constant whining and moaning by the teachers unions over the years, crying wolf over every little change" that is so hard to listen to. Nobody likes a whinger and self aggrandisement is very distasteful.
With what is happening I'm wondering when will the schools close and before the Christmas holidays.
Or they could get the kids to wear masks. The one thing for certain is that, unlike so many people, the teachers will be fully paid when they are off. I'm not suggesting that they shouldn't but they should at least be aware of, and grateful for, their relative privilege.
The Covid situation has again been mishandled by politicians despite all the good work previously done.
Really? How so?
And most of us predicted this.
Should we close things down for another year? How much more should we borrow? How much more debt should we foist on our children?
We'll probably all get Covid. The actions we are taking slow the spread so that our health service can deal with the infected while treatments improve.
 
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