Finding teachers “the most stressful thing”

Principal Pat McKenna is busy supervising construction work at Pobalscoil Neasáin Secondary School in Baldoyle, Dublin.

A few days before the start of the school year, the final touches are being made to the school building, but the process of hiring teachers is far from over.

Schools like Pobalscoil Neasáin, located in urban areas, are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit staff.

“We hit a perfect storm,” Mr McKenna told RTÉ News.

“We have a bloated population going through secondary education.”

‘We have the cost of living, which impacts teachers’ ability to work in Dublin and afford their accommodation,’ Mr McKenna explained.

“There are the challenges of traveling with high energy costs, and you have the fact that many young teachers are taking the opportunity to travel abroad that has been denied to them in recent years.”

“You have job offers,” he said, “and I don’t know if the people I called for an interview today will come tomorrow because they may have been offered something else. meanwhile.”

Last-minute repairs at Pobalscoil Neasáin Secondary School

Mr McKenna said while attracting new teachers is a challenge, existing staff are also leaving Dublin and returning home where their salaries go much further.

“Last Friday I got a call that a member of my staff was leaving because he had found a job elsewhere, so that position is now open,” he said.

“There’s a cascading effect of all the schools where people are moving, and we’re fighting for a shrinking pool of teachers.”

“We may be short of teachers, but we will get there – we hope, we are optimistic,” Mr McKenna insisted.

The Teachers’ Union of Ireland says pay discrimination in teaching has a negative impact on the attractiveness of the profession and on morale within the sector.

Regarding the fight against the shortage of teachers, the Ministry of Education indicates that a series of measures have been introduced, such as campaigns to encourage more students to enter the profession, professional development programs and initiatives for those teaching abroad who wish to return home.

Pat McKenna says long-term measures are welcome, but right now finding teachers is the biggest challenge.

“That’s the most stressful part of being a school leader right now,” McKenna said.

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