Any move to end career breaks will only exacerbate the current shortage of teachers, The Hard Shoulder presenter Kieran Cuddihy has said.
Schools right across the country are struggling to fill vacancies and, as a result, the Department of Education is considering suspending teachers’ right to take a career break.
Dublin schools in particular are finding it tough to fill positions - with many young teachers citing the high cost of housing in the city as a reason not to work in the capital.
“All that it tells you is that they [the Government] don’t understand what the problem is that they’re trying to solve,” Kieran said.
“The problem has nothing to do with the terms and conditions of teachers; it has everything to do with the Government’s own failure to solve the housing crisis.
“Teachers can’t afford to rent or own a home in Dublin in particular and that is why they are not applying for jobs in Dublin.
“That is why principals are tearing their hair out.”
'The fact that they're looking at this tells you they don't understand the problem.' @kierancuddihy on the possibility of suspending career breaks for teachers. @TheHardShoulder pic.twitter.com/KDxeQlHiM2
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Michael Gillespie, General Secretary of the TUI, has said the proposal would “make the situation worse” by reducing the attractiveness of the profession - something Kieran agreed with.
“I cannot for the life of me understand how Norma Foley thinks that it will attract more teachers into the profession by disimproving those terms and conditions,” he said.
“We all know teachers who use that career break to go to Dubai to save up money to get a deposit together for a house.
“As we speak, there are kids thinking about what they’re going to put on the CAO; imagine the message from Government - ‘You know the only mechanism that existed that allowed you to save up money to own a home? We’re going to get rid of that - but please consider becoming a teacher.’”
Main image: Kieran Cuddihy