Coolmine action group call for immediate response to teacher crisis

by Rose Barrett
0 comment
Coolmine school

The inability of schools in Dublin to recruit teachers for both permanent and substitute positions has now garnered national attention. 

Following Coolmine Community School’s inability to recruit teachers in woodwork, metalwork and graphics, a group of concerned parents, teachers, past pupils and members of the Blanchardstown/Castleknock/Clonsilla community met on November 14 to form Coolmine Community School Action Group. 

“We held a very successful on-line meeting to highlight the impact of the teacher crisis in Coolmine Community School,” said a spokesperson for the group. 

“Now we intend to broaden this campaign to the wider Dublin West constituency. The impact of the teacher shortage is devastating for students and parents alike,” claimed the new campaign group, “especially in an area like Blanchardstown with a huge young population amid a spiralling economic crisis.” 

Already, their campaign has featured in national print and media. CCSP Action Group have since invited all local ministers, some councillors, General Secretaries of ASTI/TUI union, education stakeholders and parents to a follow-up on-line meeting scheduled for Monday, December 5. 

On the agenda will be the Action Group’s call for the following demands/actions: 

A fast track approach for Teaching Council registration is vital – this would allow for those in Industry and further education/Route 3 to teach as an interim measure. “Garda Vetting has been fast tracked but not the Teaching Council.” 

The Action Group recognise that the cost of accommodation in Dublin is driving the crisis in the capital and calls for a ‘Dublin Allowance’ for teachers. “Salaries of teachers in Dublin are not on a par financially with those living in the country due to the high cost of accommodation in the capital,” said the campaign group. 

The newly formed association also stated that retired/job-share/career break solutions are NOT an option. “This cohort have made decisions and have plans in place that renders them unavailable. It is disingenuous to suggest that this is a solution,” said the group which called for early release of third and fourth year graduates with appropriate pay. 

It further called for a training college for Metalwork/Woodwork/Graphics to be established in Dublin. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Education noted “In excess of 3,450 primary and post-primary newly qualified teachers (NQTs) have had their registrations finalised by the Teaching Council to date with 36 further applications currently in progress.” 

It noted the Teaching Council recently made regulations allowing for the registration of third and fourth year undergraduate ITE students under a new registration route, Route 5 (Student Teachers). 

“Approximately 1,300 undergraduate student teachers have applied for registration under Cycle 1 of Route 5 registrations. Cycle 2 of Route 5 registrations commenced in early 

October. Once registered with the Teaching Council, such student teachers can be employed by a school to cover substitutable vacancies.” 

Despite the Department alluding to the launch of Sub Seeker, a central portal for short-term substitute vacancies, jointly developed by IPPN / NAPD, the IPPN’s own survey recently showed this was ineffective with schools trying to recruit in Dublin (98 per cent of principals reported their inability to recruit in Dublin). 

“Significant additional posts have also been allocated to the primary substitute teacher supply panels in areas where significant challenges in sourcing substitution continue, bringing the total to 610 posts on 151 panels, covering approximately 2,800 schools,” added the Department which also referred to job sharing and retired teachers alleviating the situation, something the CCSP Action Group is totally against. 

“As a result of pay agreements over recent years the starting salary of a teacher is now €39,838 with effect from October 1 last. Under the extension to Building Momentum, the starting pay will rise to over €41,000. 

“Teachers will see increases from €3,200 to €5,600 per annum. A new entrant teacher with five years’ service will earn around €50,000 while a new entrant teacher with 10 years’ service will earn around €60,000. The top of the scale will be around €77,000,” concluded the Department. 

The zoom link for the meeting on Monday, December 5 at 8pm will be posted on Coolmine Community School Parents Action Group page on FB

Related Articles