Half of new teachers don’t see themselves staying in profession

Most newly recruited teachers say they would stay on if pay restoration was restored

Most teachers are involved in extra-curricular activities outside the school. Photograph: Getty Images

Most teachers are involved in extra-curricular activities outside the school. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Almost half of all teachers recruited in recent years do not see themselves in the profession in ten years’ time, a survey carried out by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has indicated.

However the study also suggested that if pay equality was secured between those appointed before and after 2011, virtually all recent entrants – 94 per cent – said they would remain as teachers.

The TUI, as well as the other teaching unions, will at their annual conferences this week press the Government to end the two-tier pay system for those appointed since 2011.

These stark findings confirm that the hugely damaging effects of pay discrimination on the teaching profession and on the education service are worsening

The online survey of 376 teachers who were recruited after January 2011 also found that only 22 per cent received a contract of full hours in their first year of teaching.

It also said that 91 per cent of recent entrants were involved in unpaid, extra-curricular activities outside of timetabled hours.

Stark findings

TUI president Joanne Irwin said: “These stark findings confirm that the hugely damaging effects of pay discrimination on the teaching profession and on the education service are worsening. Just 12 months ago, 29 per cent of new and recent entrants said that they did not see themselves in the job in ten years’ time. The situation has deteriorated significantly, with 46 per cent now seeing their futures elsewhere. This is wholly consistent with an ever-worsening recruitment and retention crisis that all stakeholders – with the exception of the Minister for Education and his Department – have acknowledged and highlighted.”

“The one viable solution to this problem remains the same – pay discrimination must be ended as a matter of urgency. If this was achieved, 94 per cent state that they would still see themselves in the profession in ten years’ time.’

There is growing concern at form-filling and box-ticking overload

Ms Irwin said the finding that just 22 per cent of recent entrants received a contract of full hours in their first year of teaching “confirmed that almost four out of every five second level teachers – who get their first teaching post at an average age of 26, often saddled with debt after six years of study – earn just a fraction of the starting salary that the Minister so regularly quotes.”

Ms Irwin also said the survey also showed the significant voluntary engagement by teachers in activities that benefitted students.

She said the study found 91 per cent were engaged in unpaid, extra-curricular activities- outside of timetabled hours - such as sports, drama, musicals and debating. She said 35 per cent spent up to two hours a week, 39.5 per cent spent between two and four hours and 25.5 per cent spent in excess of four hours a week on these activities.

Core duties

Ms Irwin said teachers clearly derived significant satisfaction from the core duties of their role, with 81 per cent agreeing that they enjoyed the day-to-day work of teaching.

“However, there is growing concern at form-filling and box-ticking overload, with 84 per cent agreeing that bureaucratic duties regularly deflect from their core role of teaching.”

Ms Irwin said 93 per cent believed that the morale of teachers had fallen in recent years, while 95 per cent maintained that the status of teaching has fallen.

“Worryingly, but perhaps not surprisingly given the scourge of pay discrimination, 52 per cent would not advise a younger relative to pursue the profession of teaching.

These findings make clear the severe damage that pay discrimination has wreaked on teacher morale and on the education system. They also make clear that the situation will continue to worsen until pay equality is restored.”