Union survey warns on unqualified teachers


Many of the State's most disadvantaged primary students are being taught by unqualified teachers, largely as a result of difficulties in retaining teachers in disadvantaged schools, new research by the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) has indicated. John Downes reports.

The survey of almost 300 disadvantaged primary schools, conducted during October and November of this year, also reveals that one in five pupils miss more than 20 school days during the year.

And it says that under original plans for the allocation of special needs teachers, put forward by the former minister for education and science, Mr Dempsey, more than a third of the country's disadvantaged schools could have actually lost teachers.

According to the survey, nearly half of all teachers in disadvantaged schools have been employed there for less than five years, while more than one in ten leave every year.

This means many of the teaching posts are being filled by individuals with no teaching qualifications, the INTO says. Mr John Carr, general secretary of the union, said a salary allowance should be paid to teachers in these schools.