With just a week to go before the back-to-school rush, principals are finding it ‘almost impossible’ to find teachers.
Yesterday, there were 378 classroom vacancies in Irish secondary schools and, when Special Needs Assistants (SNA) are included, that figure rose above 410.
The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) is warning that the majority of secondary schools have at least one vacancy.
Around half the vacancies are in Dublin as teachers leave the capital in search of a lower cost of living.
Pat McKenna, Principal of Pobalscoil Neasáin in Baldoyle, says the situation is now “hugely challenging” for schools.
“It is something that is countrywide, but it is exacerbated in Dublin and right out past the M50,” he said.
“The costs of living within Dublin - the cost of rental, the cost of travel - are making it much more attractive for teachers to move out of the city or maybe not even move in, in the first place.”
According to teachers' jobsite EducationPosts.ie, there were 188 unfilled teaching posts in Dublin yesterday, rising to 206 when SNAs are included.
Cork had the second highest number of vacancies at 29, followed Meath with 21, Louth with 16, and Kildare, also with 16.
“It’s proving impossible,” said Mr McKenna. “Schools are advertising vacancies three, four or five times and maybe getting no responses.”
The counties in Ireland with the lowest number of vacancies were Donegal, Monaghan, Roscommon, Kilkenny and Leitrim.
With reporting from Michael Staines and Barry Whyte