News & Media


Minister for Education is overseeing the collapse of teaching as we know it

8 January 2018

Statement by Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht

Labour Party spokesperson on Education, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has criticised the Minister for Education for the collapse in numbers for those applying to be teachers.

This comes as a report has shown a 62% decrease in applications for teacher training courses.

Senator Ó Ríordáin said:

“Once a highly respected profession, now young people are voting with their feet and deciding that their teaching dream will not pay the bills.

“Today’s report only illustrate what every principal in every school knows to be true. They are seeing less and less young graduates entering the teaching profession.

“If the Minister truly wants an excellent education system he needs excellent motivated teachers.

“The delay therefore in dealing with the issue of pay equalisation is breath-taking. What more evidence does the Minister need that this issue needs to be resolved?

“The abject failure of Fine Gael and Independent Alliance to work constructively with teacher unions illustrates the reality of their world view.

“The Minister needs to stop administering by press release and action plan and tackle the issue head on. No teacher I know feels there is any process they can cling to, or expectation that things will improve.

“Not only are we dealing with a collapse of teachers entering the profession, there is no account yet of how many trained teachers have opted to further their careers abroad instead.

“It is time for the Minister to act and outline how he plans to attract new, young people to the profession.”