LACK OF QUALIFIED TEACHERS AVAILABLE FOR SUBSTITUTION
SAVES DES €49.5 MILLION AT THE VERY LEAST EACH YEAR IN THE PRIMARY SECTOR ALONE:
A TOTAL SAVING, AT THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM OF 346.3 MILLION SINCE 2010/11!
CHILDREN PAYING THE PRICE, LEFT WITHOUT TEACHERS TO TEACH THEM!
While discrimination against new teachers on unequal payscales remains, due to DES “inability to pay” with budget constraints?
Teaching Council (TC) collated data released by the DES on 9/6/17 reveals that only 64% of substitutable absences were filled in the academic years from 2010/11 to 2014/15.
The number of substitutable days for those years was 915,000 on average, but a massive problem with teacher supply meant that schools could access qualified teachers for only an annual average of 590,000 days.
The DES therefore saved on paying substitute teachers at primary level for on average 325,000 days each year from at least 2010/11 to 2014/15, the range of the report.
The daily casual rate for qualified subs had been up to €195 but was decimated to €152.22 from 1/2/12 for new entrants, with various partial restorations over recent years.
If we take the lowest rate of pay applicable at the time (€152.22), which is generous to the extreme for calculation purposes, this would see the DES saving a whopping 49.5million every year at just the primary sector over the years for which the TC Technical Working Group (TWG) collated data.
There is no doubt as to the heightened and critical lack of subs in our schools in the past two years now, so this €49.5million figure as a saving per year can only be MASSIVELY increased in reality.
FACTOR IN WHAT ALSO BEEN SAVED AT SECOND LEVEL, WHERE FIGURES ARE HARDER TO QUANTIFY: THE DES HAS BEEN GIFTED UNUSED SUBSTITUTE FUNDING FOR TOO LONG, WHILE STUDENTS AND THEIR TEACHERS HAVE PAID THE PRICE.
Our children should have been taught by qualified teachers. We can’t turn back time but we CAN do our best to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
National supply panels are essential. It is NOT acceptable that a “stop-gap” temporary fix, as proposed by Minister Bruton, including final year students-teachers and retired teachers stepping in to address teacher supply, be allowed:
This approach is the absolute antithesis of Minister Bruton’s aspirations to attaining a top quality education system in Ireland.
The DES has now saved a significant fortune (considerably underestimated in figures here) from annual budgets at the expense of children’s education, while claiming not to have had the funds under annual budgetary limitations to address pressing needs:
That money “saved” from the primary teaching sector alone could return school funding to the level it was at before austerity (approx. 30 million), pay equality for the whole public service (approx. 200 million), outstanding benchmarking (one decade late) for primary principals and DPs, remuneration for extra work expected for free under “Droichead”, and then some!
And finally: Why did the DES sit on the Teaching Council Teacher Supply report for a year and a half, which it received in December 2015, only to release it one day after a new pay deal was brokered, on June 9th, 2017?