Offaly TD concerned at number of retired teachers returning to school
Independent Offaly TD Carol Nolan has described the numbers of retired teachers who have returned to work in the education sector as "a symptom of the inability of schools to recruit new teaching graduates."
Deputy Nolan was speaking after it emerged that 1,624 retired teachers, comprising 1,240 primary school teachers and 386 voluntary secondary and community and comprehensive teachers worked for a total of 58,842 days in 2018/2019.
“I am not suggesting for one minute that we should disallow retired teachers to return to work, as very often they perform a vital stand in service when no other teachers are available," Deputy Nolan said.
"What I am suggesting, however, is that we need to conduct a far more thorough analysis around why the numbers returning are so high, particularly at primary level, taking note of the fact that the numbers I have obtained do not even include retired teachers in the state’s Education and Training Boards (ETBs).
"My own sense is that much of this is a product of the income inequality that new teachers were expected to put up until relatively recently which has undoubtedly contributed to teaching graduates emigrating or choosing another profession."
In Offaly, there were 15 retirees in 2018. Six of those were principals with another two being deputy principals.
The numbers are similar for Laois where there were 15 retirees in 2018. Six were principals and five were deputy principals.
"We have to ensure that teachers and teaching graduates feel it is worth their while staying within our education system in order to avoid large scale absences that necessitate the return of retired teachers,” concluded Deputy Nolan.