Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Calling all Irish teachers in Britain…

Researchers want to hear more about the experiences, expectations and plans of those travelling across the water for work

Mon, May 20, 2013, 10:22


Louise Ryan

It has been suggested that as many as 500 teachers left Ireland during the last year to take up employment in schools throughout Britain. This phenomenon certainly rings true with my own experiences, as my son has had several young Irish teachers at both his primary and now his secondary school in south London. Although there has been some media attention to this subject, there is little or no research on the experiences, expectations, career aspirations and future plans for settlement or return of these teachers.

As an Irish migrant myself, who left Cork 20 years ago, I am keen to understand how this new generation of migrants may share some experiences with earlier waves of migrants (whom I have also researched) or to what extent the post-Celtic Tiger, post-Peace Agreement context is offering new opportunities for this younger generation of Irish in Britain. In an attempt to gain a deeper insight into the experiences of teachers who have arrived since the recession, my colleagues and I at Middlesex University are carrying out an online survey. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, and can be found here.

We are hoping to get as many questionnaires as possible completed by the end of June. If you know of other Irish teachers in Britain please pass on the link.

This work has been funded through the Third Sector Research Centre. The research will be carried by the Social Policy Research Centre, at Middlesex University, in partnership with the Federation of Irish Societies. The findings of the study will be published in a report and other academic papers and will be used to inform the policy initiatives and funding applications of the Federation of Irish Societies.

For further information, contact Prof Louise Ryan, co-director of the Social Policy Research Centre,

Are you an Irish teacher working in the UK? Share your experiences in the comments section below.