Where have all of Ireland’s teachers gone?

Children may have to be sent home from school or taught by unqualified staff

Joe Lyons, principal of Ballybrown St Joseph’s National School in Limerick, says having to split or cram several classes into one room is a health and safety issue. Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22

Joe Lyons, principal of Ballybrown St Joseph’s National School in Limerick, says having to split or cram several classes into one room is a health and safety issue. Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22

Sunnier climes, the chance to save for a mortgage and a better quality of life are just some of the reasons that newly qualified teachers are ditching casual work here in such large numbers.

Principals say it is becoming increasingly difficult to find substitute teachers to fill in on sick days at primary level. It means cramming children into other classes or, for smaller schools, closing for the day.

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