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Minister for Education must listen to the voices and opinions of our teachers - Sorca Clarke TD

13 April, 2023 - by Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Education, Sorca Clarke TD, today called on the Minister for Education to listen to the voices and opinions of our teachers as national conferences held this week gave voice to their growing concerns for themselves, their students and their profession.

Speaking today, the Longford-Westmeath TD said:

“Pay, conditions, class sizes, lack of teachers; these are the issues that are putting schools and teachers under strain and pushing our education system to a critical point. 

“The cost-of-living crisis is having a detrimental impact on the teaching profession at all levels.  

“The government’s insistence on continuing to enforce the lower salary scale for new teachers is undermining the profession and having a direct impact on the number of available teachers.  

“The Minister and the government must not only listen but they must hear what the teachers of Ireland are saying. 

“I reiterate the demands made for an increase in the services provided by the National Educational Psychological Service to all secondary schools to ensure sufficient SEN provision so that schools can provide inclusive education to all students. 

“The lack of education funding in Ireland, where we invest 1% of GDP in second-level education compared to EU averages of 1.9%, is contributing to the devaluation of the teaching profession and the reason we find ourselves in the situation where newly qualified teachers are joining their nursing colleagues and emigrating. 

“Sinn Féin understands the pressures teachers are feeling as class sizes continue to soar and teacher numbers dwindle. What is most concerning is that the government is making no effort to fix the problems facing our teachers and our education system.”

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