Casualisation of teaching profession

Mon, Jan 7, 2013, 00:00

A chara, – Denise Ní­ Dhuibhir (January 2nd) correctly highlights the increasing casualisation of the teaching profession. While it is a common assumption among the general public that all teachers are in permanent pensionable employment, the reality is quite different. OECD studies show that just 73 per cent of Irish second-level teachers are in permanent positions (compared to 96 per cent in Denmark and 90 per cent in Norway). This is one of the lowest levels in Europe.

The remaining 27 per cent survive on temporary contracts and are often scraping by on part-time hours.

Younger teachers are in an even more difficult position. OECD statistics show that the majority (52 per cent) of secondary teachers under 30 years of age are on non-permanent contracts of a year or less. They are being offered insecure contracts rather than a dedicated career and risk becoming a highly qualified spailpín class. Far from a “job for life”, these teachers have no guarantee that their job will even exist in the next school year.

The implications for teaching and learning in our classrooms are obvious. Schools will have to deal with a high turnover of teachers and the difficulties with continuity that this will inevitably cause. Highly qualified teachers will take their abilities elsewhere and new graduates will be less likely to consider teaching as a career.

It is had to imagine why someone would spend four years studying for a college degree followed by another two years to achieve a teaching qualification in order to enter such insecure employment. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN P McCARTHY,

Ardteegalvan,

Killarney,

Co Kerry.