September heralds mass arrival of Irish teachers

September heralds mass arrival of Irish teachers

HUNDREDS of Irish teachers will flock to Britain to start the new school year here this month.

Data compiled by The Irish Post from nine recruitment companies shows at least 520 teachers will cross the Irish Sea for work this week.

“The Irish are coming over due to the lack of opportunities for jobs in Ireland,” said Debbie Tinning from Uteach.

She added that most of the 165 Irish teachers her firm has found work for this September are newly qualified and have no choice but to come to Britain to get the 300 hours of experience needed to register as a teacher at home.

The mass emigration of teachers to Britain was featured by The Irish Post in January. But the figures for this September suggest the Irish Government is still failing to address Ireland’s over-supply of teaching graduates.

The news also coincides with warnings from education experts in Britain that more than 100,000 secondary school pupils will be taught maths and science by teachers untrained in the subjects because of a critical shortage of new recruits in Britain.

Some local authorities in Britain, such as Aberdeenshire and Kent, have proactively tried to tackle their deficit by looking to Ireland for teachers.

“We need to look at innovative ways to fill teaching vacancies in Aberdeenshire,” said Councillor Isobel Davidson, who chairs the council’s Education Learning and Leisure Committee.

“At the moment, we have around 40 teaching vacancies and despite our very best efforts, we are continuing to struggle to fill these posts.”

So far the council has filled 18 of those posts with Irish recruits, while Kent will take on 40 for the new school year.

John Carr, a former head teacher who now runs Engage Education’s Dublin office said the company has “never been busier in terms of enquiries from Irish teachers about teaching in the UK”.

But Richard Scott, from ASQ Education, said he has not seen a dramatic rise in the number of Irish teachers applying for posts in Britain.

He added that his company has seen a variety of applicants, including older teachers looking to leave Ireland and others whose spouse has found work in Britain.