Housing crisis threatens education system – unions

The Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland, Fórsa, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, the Irish Federation of University Teachers, SIPTU (Education), and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland represent about 110,000 members working in schools, colleges, and education centres across the country.

Ahead of the national Raise the Roof rally on Saturday, 26th November, the six unions have issued a joint statement accusing the government of a failed housing policy that now risks the effective delivery of education services.

For too long we have witnessed first-hand the deterioration in housing provision, most acutely in our major urban areas. This year we have seen schools and colleges struggle to recruit and retain critical staff, citing severe difficulties in relation to the availability and affordability of accommodation. The effective delivery of education is now fundamentally at risk if we don’t take steps to tackle the chronic housing challenges we are facing.

Homelessness is becoming a far too familiar feature of the Irish education landscape. Schools and colleges have become places of sanctuary for pupils who find themselves in such circumstances, but we need to acknowledge how disruptive and challenging this is for vulnerable pupils and their families. Our members report that they often feel helpless, powerless, and ill-equipped to effectively respond to, and support pupils who are experiencing homelessness.

We are calling on our members to support the Raise the Roof Rally on Saturday, 26th November. Together, we must call time on this failed housing policy and ensure government parties fully understand the scale of the crisis and the impact on the delivery of essential public services.”

– ASTI, Fórsa, INTO, IFUT, SIPTU (Education) and TUI