Fianna Fáil’s education spokesperson in the Seanad, Senator Fiona O’Loughlin, has called for the issuing of Teaching Council numbers to be expedited for third and fourth year student teachers in the midst of “unacceptable” delays.
Senator O’Loughlin said: “In response to the substitution crisis in primary schools, third and fourth year students of primary education were to be given Teaching Council numbers. This would allow these student teachers to work beyond the 5-day rule and ensure that our school communities right around the country could access substitutes teachers should they require them.
“I am in regular contact with teachers, principals and parents in my own area in south Kildare, and from what I am hearing the issuing of Teaching Council numbers for these students has not happened- and that is just not acceptable.
“We need to do everything we can to support our schools, and to ensure that we can continue to provide a first-class education in our schools – and obviously having adequate teaching resources is a huge part of that.”
Senator O’Loughlin said “I have written to Minister for Education Norma Foley on this issue “and will do everything in my power to assist her and her officials to see a positive resolution to this. Student teachers are supporting the school community by taking classes – enforcing the 5-day rule is unfair, unjust and goes completely against the core of this policy change.”