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TUI calls for two-year master's in education to be halved to tackle staffing crisis

The union said this would increase the supply of secondary teachers and make the profession more financially accessible.

THE TEACHERS’ UNION of Ireland (TUI) has called for the two-year master’s in education to be shortened to one year to ease supply problems and make teaching careers more accessible.

The union has said that Budget 2024 must provide resources to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis in second level.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, TUI president Liz Farrell said “we believe that one year [for a master's] would suffice.

“It absolutely has to be looked at – not only will it release teachers, but it also will lower the cost and make it more available to a wider socio-economic group of people.

“Teaching has become a very, very costly profession.”

TUI has said that difficulties with recruiting and retaining teachers at second level means that some optional subjects cannot be offered to students in some schools. It also said that students “may be taught by a succession of teachers over the course of their studies”, meaning they do not have consistency through an exam cycle.

The union has said measures to address these issue include reducing the duration of the master’s in education, eliminating administrative and bureaucratic burdens for teachers who want to return to Ireland from overseas and increasing teaching allocations to allow schools to advertise more full-time, permanent jobs.

Farrell said in a statement today: “If the government is serious about tackling this crisis in the medium term, the appropriate, targeted resourcing must be made available in Budget 2024.

“A survey of teachers carried out by TUI earlier this year showed that of those recently appointed, less than a third of teachers (31%) appointed received a full-time contract, and just over one in ten teachers (13%) were offered permanent positions.

“This culture of precarious work is driving both potential and serving teachers away from the profession.”

She also said that career progression must be examined in order to retain teachers, such as restoring the number of assistant principal positions, which was cut during the recession.

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