Cork school principal says urgent action needed to address lack of substitute teachers
A school principal in Carrigaline who was forced to take to Twitter to try and secure a substitute teacher yesterday morning says urgent action is needed to address the shortage of subs.
Over a third of children at Owenabue Educate Together National School had to stay at home yesterday as there were no substitute teachers available.
Principal Trina Golden took to Twitter just after 7am yesterday morning to try and recruit a substitute, with no luck. The school have since sourced a teacher for today and have reopened however they have warned that the national shortage of substitute teachers has been rumbling on since 2015.
Speaking to RedFM News Trina Golden says the crisis around securing substitute teachers has been ongoing for a number of years but the newly imposed restrictions around Covid 19 have exposed the cracks in the system.
“A lot of principals are using Twitter, because with the mainstream sources it’s impossible to find a sub through them.
“There’s been a national substitute shortage for years, it’s been ongoing since about 2015.
“It would have been masked for many years, so there would have bene many days over the year where a class would have been given work and a few kids would be sent to each room to do it.
“With the covid guidelines that’s not an option any more, so it’s really shone a light on to what cracks were there before covid ever started.”
Golden says a number of measures need to be taken immediately as currently there are only three teachers on a supply panel for 11 schools in her area.
“I do think from a personal perspective and a local perspective that increasing our supply panel would alleviate the situation significantly.
“At the moment we have three teachers on a supply panel, which is shared between eleven schools.
“Even adding one extra teacher would have a significant impact here.
“I’m not sure if that would be replicated nationwide, but certainly locally that would alleviate the issue.”