The equivalent of approximately 21 full-time teachers will be lost in second level schools in Mayo this year as a result of a cut to the guidance counselling provision and a leading teachers’ union representative in the county has warned of the damaging effects of the ‘increasing casualisation of the profession’ of teachers.
Aidan Brogan, a teacher in Davitt College, is the Chairperson for the Mayo branch of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and said that the cut in guidance counselling, effective from September, is but one ‘damaging’ part of current government education policy.
“This is completely unacceptable,” he said. “The austerity agenda is hugely damaging to education and our hopes of economic recovery. There is a misconception that all teaching jobs are full-time and secure but the reality is very different.
“Over a quarter of second level teachers are on less than full hours. Hundreds of posts have been lost as a result of cutbacks in recent years,” added Mr Brogan.
He went on to say that it will become increasingly difficult to attract the brightest and best teaching talent to the profession in this country.
“Where once a teacher applied for a permanent full-time position, now they apply for perhaps a few hours per week with no guarantee that their services will be retained in the following year. We would estimate that even after a five year training period, it can now take a teacher up to five additional years to secure any type of permanent contract,” he said.
“Even then, this may not be on full-time hours. Over time, these barriers will clearly mitigate against attracting the best young graduates to the profession. There is a real risk that our best teaching talent will end up in front of classrooms in England, Canada and Australia,” he concluded
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