Irish Teachers Network launches census to locate educators across London

Irish Teachers Network launches census to locate educators across London

A CENSUS has been launched to gather information about Irish teachers working in London.

The initiative, coordinated by the recently established Irish Teachers Network, hopes to plot the spread of teachers across the city as the organisation creates a more formal presence in the capital.

“There are about 10 of us who are involved in the ITN at the moment,” London-based teacher Brendan Kenny told The Irish Post this week.

“At this stage we are still looking at the direction we need to take things in,” he added, “and we don’t have a committee, or chairman or anything like that just yet, but we do have a website, Facebook and Twitter accounts and we have launched a census in order to gather the information we need.”

The Tipperary-native, who is head of ICT at a private school in the capital, has been living and working in London, with his fiancé, since 2013.

The 33-year-old spent the previous 10 years teaching at an Irish primary school.

But not all teachers have had such a length of experience on the job before arriving in England, he claims.

“There are many teachers arriving from Ireland who are primed to fall through the net,” he says.

“It’s those who are not long out of colleges who have found no jobs at home so they come here,” he explains.

“If they haven’t ever had an actual teaching post but land here - with all the paperwork and hierarchical structures of the British school system that we don’t have back home – it can be very difficult for them to acclimatise.

"It’s very intimidating for someone with very little experience and these are often the people who take the first accommodation option they can get, then two months into the job they come home to a house with no one to relate to – no one who shares their job or their background, which, I imagine, for some people can get very isolating very quickly.”

Mr Kenny hopes the Irish Teachers Network – which plans to eventually incorporate Irish teachers across Britain – can provide some support for these teachers, as well as those who are more established within the system.

“This network is simply something that should provide a way of connecting people together and supporting people,” he explains.

“We want to offer a regular coming together, which can be a social outlet, but might also - eventually - become something that produces results in some way shape or form that might actually be able to affect policy in some way or improve things for Irish teachers in Britain.”

He added: “At this stage we have launched our census to get as clear a picture as possible of where the Irish teachers are in London, to see if there are any trends there, but also to find ways of communicating with them and finding out what they might want from the Network.”

Are you an Irish Teacher in London or the South East? Take the census here