February 9, 2024
“Teacher Shortage Crisis a direct result of Government Housing Failures” – Chris MacManus MEP

“Teacher Shortage Crisis a direct result of Government Housing Failures” – Chris MacManus MEP

Chris MacManus, MEP for Midlands-North-West, has said that the pressure on schools to fill staffing gaps through redeploying Special Education Teachers cannot continue. 

Speaking from Strasbourg following a European Parliament debate on the working conditions of teachers in the European Union, the Sinn Féin MEP called on the Irish Government to acknowledge the links between the housing and school staffing crises, and act quickly to address the teacher shortages in Irish schools. 

MacManus said:

“In November, a survey conducted by the INTO, IPPN and CSMA found that there were over 800 teaching posts remaining vacant across the island, an unprecedented level. 

“More alarmingly, they found that many schools were being forced to redeploy Special Education Teachers into mainstream classes to plug staffing gaps. 

“I have no doubt but that the housing crisis and teaching shortage that we are seeing go hand in hand. The failure of successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments to get real about housing has meant teachers are turning down or leaving posts because they simply can’t find anywhere affordable to live near the school. 

“This is not only in urban areas; teachers in rural schools can drive up to 90 minutes each way to their workplace due to accommodation restraints. 

“Hundreds of our young teachers are moving abroad after qualification. For many, this is not a choice but a necessity; the working conditions of teachers, coupled with a housing crisis, has meant that it is simply not possible for them to stay. 

“We are now facing a crisis point; if ever there was a time to get serious and tackle this issue, surely this is it. The teacher shortage crisis a direct result of government housing failures”

“To fill these staffing shortages the Government need to get serious about the rental crisis, and they need to provide our educators with working conditions that truly reflect the respect they deserve. “ ENDS 

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