The government and teachers want more schools to share teachers for subjects with little teaching and high demand.
A program was launched earlier this year to allow key subject teachers to be shared between schools, but the initiative has not been taken up.
Sources said they believe there is a reluctance to take full advantage of the scheme because schools fear key teachers could later be lured to another school. A source also cited a case where a volunteer school was reluctant to share a teacher with a nearby trade school.
A government source told this newspaper they would like to see more schools take advantage of the program to temporarily ease demand for sought-after teachers.
While the teacher shortage has been an ongoing problem for several years, it has worsened since the summer, particularly in urban areas with high living and rental costs.
Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) Secretary-General Michael Gillespie said he supports more schools sharing teachers where appropriate.
“Co-teaching of subjects that are scarce in nearby schools should be analyzed and worked out as a solution to protect student choices and subject availability for students. It creates full hours, which both teachers and students benefit from, too,” said Mr. Gillespie.
A memo introduced to Cabinet last week by Education Secretary Norma Foley proposed schools that employ a teacher less than full-time should be encouraged and encouraged to use the teacher-partition program as a means of filling vacancies.
Other measures proposed by Ms Foley last week included a program that would allow teachers to mentor another class while a student teacher interns in their class.
A proposal to suspend or amend non-statutory leave arrangements, such as B. Career breaks for teachers has also been considered and the Department of Education is in dialogue with teachers’ colleges to maximize the availability of professional Masters of Education (PME) students to fill in for the remainder of the school year.
About 800 students from Hibernia College are available to the school system in the coming weeks.
These proposals came as the government was under increasing pressure to intervene in the supply crisis. Last week, Social Democrat TD Gary Gannon tabled a Dáil motion calling for the immediate establishment of an emergency teacher supply task force to find solutions to teacher shortages.
This is similar to a proposal put to Mrs Foley by the Irish National Teachers’ Organization (INTO) about two months ago.
Mr Gillespie and the General Secretary of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland, Kieran Christie, said they would support their establishment.
Mr Christie also called on the Government to offer incentives to teachers returning from abroad over Christmas to stay in Ireland and take up vacancies.
While a task force has yet to be established, the Department of Education will re-evaluate its Teacher Supply Consultative Forum.
This forum is currently facilitating dialogue and data exchange between higher education institutions, school boards and teachers’ unions. Education officials are to look at how it can be improved and “more focused and action-oriented,” a source said.
Unions and TDs have also claimed that the teachers’ council, which sets standards in the profession, played a role in the crisis by delaying teacher registration.
A spokesman for the council said its own statistics show it “has appropriate resources for teacher registration, re-registration and verification”.
The average turnaround time for Irish qualified applicants is 2.6 weeks but may vary for overseas qualified teachers as in Ireland “a full assessment of an applicant’s qualifications, teaching experience and lifelong learning is undertaken to ensure comparability to standards ensure”.
However, the government will ask the council to review its registration process for teachers who have qualified outside the state
The department is also understood to be implementing plans to attract students from a variety of backgrounds to the class. While it is recognized that this will not improve supply for at least five to 10 years, officials want to connect with secondary school students to understand their views on teaching as a career choice.
A source said the department is using data to determine how to get more people into the profession, with officials targeting students who considered teaching on their CAO form but have picked up a different course.
The Department of Education said it is looking to explore structures to support teacher supply.
A spokesman said that last year €163,000 was spent on a campaign to promote the teaching profession. This represents a 16.8 percent increase in CAO applications for postgraduate programs over the past year.
There was a 19.3 percent increase between the CAO deadline last February and the July revision deadline. A similar campaign is scheduled to run in the new year.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/calls-to-establish-a-supply-task-force-as-teacher-sharing-scheme-fails-to-take-off-42210881.html Calls for a supply task force to be set up as teacher sharing program fails to take off