Belfast Telegraph

One-third of new teachers see no future in job, union says

A teachers' union has warned one-third of new entrants see no long-term future in the job.

The Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents more than 16,000 people in post-primary education, said a survey of recent graduates found 30% believe it is unlikely or very unlikely they will be in the profession in 10 years.

As they hold their annual conferences this week, teaching unions are ratcheting up calls for pay parity over the reduced rates paid to people qualified after 2011.

The TUI said 8 1% of teachers who answered their survey said that differentiated pay rates among staff have had a negative or very negative effect on morale in schools.

More than nine out of 10 said bureaucratic duties regularly deflect from their teaching and that their workload has increased significantly in recent years.

TUI president Joanne Irwin said: " These findings confirm that teachers have experienced a significant increase in workload in recent years. They also make clear the deeply negative effects that differentiated, discriminatory pay rates are having on the morale of the profession.

"Quite clearly, the scandal of pay inequality has had a deeply negative effect on the profession. Progress has been made with the restoration of the Honours Primary Degree Allowance, but at a time when schools are struggling to attract teachers for an increasing number of subjects due to more lucrative options in other employments, the process of pay equalisation requires urgent acceleration."

The TUI called for the restoration of an allowance paid to teachers who have secured the Higher Diploma or Professional Masters of Education to teach.

It said the findings came from an online survey of 813 teachers last month. The union meets this week in Cork.

Ms Irwin said there was a huge concern that increasing bureaucracy detracts from core teaching duties.

"The work of teachers has become excessively administrative in nature, with increased focus on what many teachers see as form-filling and box-ticking duties that deflect from the core functions of teaching and learning," she said.

"There has also been a marked increase in workload, a legacy of an era of cutbacks that worsened the pupil/teacher ratio, dismantled middle-management structures and restricted guidance counselling provision.

"Such anti-educational measures have increased teacher workload and damaged the effectiveness of schools and the support network for students.

"Ultimately, students lose out when time is stolen from teaching and learning."

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