Reports suggest that as many as 560 jobs are filled by retired teachers rather than graduates
As graduate teachers struggle to find jobs in Ireland, the number of retired teachers being employed by schools around the country has risen from 2015 levels.
As many as 560 jobs were given to retired teachers at both primary and secondary level, meaning that new graduates and those leaving college missed out on thousands of teaching days.
According to figures obtained by The Sunday Independent, the figures are made up from "320 retired primary teachers and 240 retired secondary teachers."
They report that, despite the Department of Education issuing a number of guidelines on the matter, as well as the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) stating that graduates should always be given preference, there is "an old boys and girls network" in operation in a number of schools.
The figures come as a further blow to the profession, which the TUI noted was struggling to attract graduates ahead of their annual conference in March.
In a statement, President Gerry Quinn said that there is "a damaging legacy of discriminatory, reduced pay rates for new teachers and a rampant casualisation of the profession. While the salary scales of all new entrants to the public service were targeted, reductions in teachers’ pay were far greater than what applied to most public servants."
Calling for wages to be restored, Quinn added that there is a large chance that Ireland "will see a drain of the best young graduates away from the profession at a time when they are most needed."