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Drop in teaching college applications “unsurprising” Deputy Jonathan O’Brien

9 March, 2013 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien has said that figures published by the CAO that show a significant reduction in the number of students choosing to become teachers is “unsurprising” considering the way new entrants to the profession have been treated in recent years.

The Cork North Central TD was responding to data on this year's college applications which shows an eight per cent drop in numbers opting for teacher degree courses.

He continued: “In the past two years newly qualified teachers have been targeted by a number of punitive cuts in pay and allowances which have forced a growing number to consider other career options or a job in teaching outside of Ireland.

“Allied to this has been the casualisation of work practices for teachers who can find employment resulting in over 27% of teachers struggling to make ends meet in temporary posts that have limited hours and little job security.

“It is hardly surprising therefore, that a significant number of potential recruits to the profession are turning down teaching as a career option.

“The drop in applications for teaching courses this year follows a six per cent reduction last year and other worrying trends are also highlighted in the CAO survey with arts and social science courses down on last year’s figures.

“It is an issue Education Minister Ruairí Quinn must address otherwise measures such as the reform of the Junior Cycle and the implementation of a literacy and numeracy strategy will flounder.”

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