Irish Teachers Exiting Country For Opportunities In England

Hundreds of Irish teachers are leaving Ireland to work in Britain each year, researchers at the Social Policy Research Center at Middlesex University found. The researchers set out in 2013 to discover more about the moving Irish teachers experiences, and their findings discovered that many Irish teachers are doing very well in the British educational system.

The study was comprised of an online survey, interviews and focus groups with 114 teachers who had come to Britain since the beginning of the economic recession, says Louise Ryan for the Irish Times. Most of them had been offered a steady job in schools either before or soon after traveling to Britain. This is is stark contrast to the problem in Ireland where many teachers can find only part-time or temporary employment.

The largest percentages of the Irish teachers are practicing in London or in the country’s southeast region.  Many Irish teachers were placed in large, ethnically diverse schools where being “different” and speaking with “an accent” is considered acceptable. However,  some were the single Irish teacher in the midst of all English teachers working in a school, which sometimes made them feel rather isolated and lonely, writes Ryan.

Many Irish teachers had received  their teacher’s license at a British university. It was expected by researchers that many of the teachers would have left Ireland after finishing their H.Dip (higher diploma in education).

The truth, however, is that Irish teachers were finishing their undergraduate courses in Ireland and then studying to Britain to receive their teaching license, The Irish teachers said that it was to hard to find adequate teaching practice in Ireland so that they could finish their training.

In Britain, there are not only more universities giving instructor training courses, but also no lack of schools to finish their training year. The first researched study to center on one profession among recently come Irish migrants, these highly educated teacher, with an average of 28, were overall very happy with their work and life experiences in Britain.

In England, there is specifically a demand for Irish math teachers, as the national government mandates that more students continue learning the subject, writes Kim Kielenberg for The Independent. For those with the right qualifications, the British government is offering Irish teachers bursaries and scholarships of up to €30,000 ($41,000) for their year of teacher training. Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the British state training agency, told the Irish Independent:

“Ireland’s education system has an excellent reputation internationally and is well known for producing high quality graduates who are an ideal fit for a career in teaching.”

Irish teachers are also going abroad to find work. With wages and job opportunities failing in Ireland, hundreds of apprentice teachers and qualified teachers are leaving Ireland to find work abroad, writes Kielenberg. Schools in the Middle East and Asia are reeling in Irish teachers with appealing, tax-free packages, including a free place to stay and flights in and out.