Teaching standard ‘forced girl to leave school’

by Mark O'Brien
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A TALLAGHT teenager says that she was forced to leave school because a lack of teaching resources was affecting the standard of education she was receiving.


Chloe O’Faolain (16) had been attending St Aidan’s Community School in Brookfield, Tallaght.


But she left in November because there would often be days when there were no teachers available to take most of up to six of her nine classes.


Chloe’s mother Sinead told Dublin Gazette that she couldn’t keep sending Chloe to the school because it was making her depressed.


“She was heartbroken,” said Sinead.


“It was making her miserable forcing her to go to that school and she was coming home from school every day in tears and I couldn’t do it to her anymore. It just wasn’t right.”


Sinead was keen to stress that she felt the school were doing their best for their pupils but were hamstrung by a lack of resources.


“I don’t blame the school entirely because I think they were trying to do the best with what they had,” she said.


“It’s basically the system that’s at fault.”


Sinead is currently trying to enrol Chloe into another local school but has not yet been successful.


In the meantime, Chloe has been focussing her attentions on competing in Top Model Ireland.


Chloe found out that she had been accepted into the competition not long after she left school.


“It came at the best time,” said Chloe.  “I really needed it.”


Chloe has taken part in boot camps, learned how to do make-up and taken part in photoshoots ahead of the final of the competition, which takes place on January 20 in the Citywest Hotel, with the proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Ireland.


Chloe said that taking part in the competition had been a massive confidence boost following her departure from school.


But she also has her sights firmly set on returning to education and going to college.
“I want to do culinary arts or something in social work,” she said.


Dublin Gazette contacted St Aidan’s Community School and the Department of Education for comment on the staffing difficulties that led to Chloe leaving the school.


Principal of St Aidan’s, Karen Quigley, said: “In common with many schools, we have found that there are increasing difficulties around recruitment of teachers.


“However, classes and students are never left unsupervised during any period of recruitment.”


A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: “Teacher allocations to all schools are approved annually by the Department in accordance with established rules based on how many pupils are enrolled in the school.


“The criteria for the allocation of posts are communicated to school managements annually and are available on the Department website.


“The recruitment and appointment of teachers to fill teaching posts is a matter for the individual school authority.


“The deployment of teaching staff in the school, the range of subjects offered and ultimately the quality of teaching and learning are in the first instance a matter for the school management authorities.

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