A Shocking Number Of Irish School Teachers Don't Have Permanent Contracts

A Shocking Number Of Irish School Teachers Don't Have Permanent Contracts

Primary and secondary education degrees remain the most popular form of third level study for Leaving Cert students in Ireland. Reasonable hours, a guaranteed pension, extended holidays and paid leave make a career in teaching desirable.

Today it was announced that the Department of Education is looking to retrain primary school teachers to teach secondary level. A shortage of teachers in areas like European languages, chemistry, and physics means future students will be impacted unless the Government implements a training programme to retrain current primary school teachers.

One issue often overlooked by Government and student bodies in the area of temporary contracts. 35% of the total number of students who graduated with a teaching degree in 2016 are employed on temporary, one-year contracts, while a further 14% are employed on a part-time basis in Ireland. Only 7% of those who graduated with degrees in education in 2016 were employed in permanent teaching in Ireland at the time of the report, which was compiled in 2017.

Non-permanent teaching positions are at risk of an uncertain salary which creates a catch 22 situation for young students. Although temporary teachers are given the same entitlements as permanent staff, their contract lasts a year.

In 2015, only two-thirds of absences were actually covered by substitutes - which is made up of a large pool of graduate teachers. However, teacher education providers – such as colleges, universities and the private provider Hibernia – have full autonomy to decide on the enrollment of trainees.


According to a report by the Higher Education Authority, 85% of education degree holders are likely to find work after graduating making it the most employable degree, 32% of education students are earning between €29,000 - €32,999.

From the 2016 figures, 40% of Honours Bachelor Degree graduates earn less than €25,000 and a whopping 15% of Arts and Humanities students earn less than €13,000.

Also Read: Many Graduates From One Popular Irish Course Are Earning Less Than €13,000 A Year

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Garret Farrell

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