Crisis in teacher supply

Silence from certain stakeholders and educational bodies has been deafening

Sir, – Prof Judith Harford and Dr Brian Fleming adeptly identify the various decisions in the last 12 years that have contributed to the current crisis in teacher supply (“Too many young people are being taught by unqualified personnel”, Education, Opinion, November 25th).

Among these was the establishment of the Teacher Supply Steering Group (TSSG), which was doomed to be an out-of-touch group from the start with school principal representation not even included in its membership and whose subsequent measures failed to address the growing crisis in teacher supply in any meaningful or sustainable manner.

Noting the TSSG’s failure to even meet this year, Prof Harford and Dr Fleming question if the Minister for Education has in fact given up on finding comprehensive, long-term solutions to the crisis in teacher supply. Sadly, they might be right. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that somewhere in the Department of Education the demographic projections have been analysed and the sums have been done and a decision taken not to increase the supply of teachers for fear of having to deal with a surplus in the immediate years to come.

The silence from certain stakeholders and various educational bodies on the crisis has been deafening and it begs the question if there has been some type of groupthink collective resignation that nothing more can be done and that we must ride it out.


Meanwhile, just over a year and a half after the disruption of the pandemic school closures, our students are currently sitting in classrooms across the country with unqualified teachers and free classes.

Their learning is, yet again, the collateral damage in all of this.

To what end, who knows?

Other interventions are now needed. – Yours, etc,



Ardscoil Rís,

Dublin 9.