Deep concern over number of unfilled teacher posts ahead of new term - TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Sorca Clarke TD, has expressed deep concern over the number of unfilled teaching positions advertised as the new school term rapidly approaches.

Teachta Clarke said:

“Currently there are over 1,100 posts advertised across the country, 647 in primary education, and 459 in post-primary, just weeks before the new school term is due to begin.

“Vacancies are particularly high around Dublin and other cities with the cost of living and the lack of affordable housing being given by both principals and teachers as significant factors.

“Every unfilled position is cause for concern. Some of the positions unfilled are for those who work with the most vulnerable children in our society, children who need ongoing support to reach their potential.

“The inability to fill these posts, is in part caused by the Government's failure to adequately address the cost of living crisis and meaningfully increase the supply of affordable homes, puts increased pressure on principals and undue anxiety on parents.

“Many teachers and other vital school staff, particularly newly qualified, are reliant on the private rental sector where rents are too high and unaffordable.

“The private rental sector is broken. It is affecting workers across all sectors and educators are not immune to bad government policy.

“Just last week, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Housing Eoin O’Broin launched our submission to the Department of Housing's public consultation on the private residential rental sector.

“In this we have set out what short term emergency measures are required to protect renters from rising rents and the threat of homelessness.

“We have also set out a wider set of reforms for the private rental sector to address the structural weaknesses of that sector caused by decades of bad housing policy.

“It has never been harder to be a renter. The sector has never been so insecure or so expensive.

“All of this is because of decades of bad policy from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Over the last twenty years they have presided over a rapidly growing private rental sector that is unstable, insecure, and expensive.

“We need a stable and affordable private rental sector.”