Sinn Fein demands that Minister stop ‘under-qualified interns’ teaching in schools

‘There are plenty of fully qualified teachers and SNA’s available for work in schools at the established rates of pay and conditions’

Sligo News File Online

jonathan o'brienSinn Féin spokesperson on Education Jonathan O’ Brien has condemned the news that teachers and Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) are being hired as part of the JobBridge internship scheme and has urged Minister Jan O’Sullivan to intervene in halting the practice.

Deputy O’ Brien said:

“These are real jobs requiring trained practitioners and are absolutely inappropriate for so-called ‘internships’. There are plenty of fully qualified teachers and SNA’s who are available for work at the established rates of pay and conditions.

“These are professionals who are trained and qualified for teaching and assisting Irish schoolchildren as well as those with specific needs in the case of SNA’s. Internships cannot replace the professional training required for the care and education of our children. 

“These ‘internships’ are undermining the profession itself, but worst of all, potentially affecting our children who are being exposed to interns who may be untrained and under-qualified. It is disgraceful that this practice is allowed to continue when so many qualified teachers and SNA’s currently looking for work.

“Teachers unions are also strongly opposed to JobBridge. I find it hard to believe that Minister Jan O’ Sullivan says that the Department have not control in stopping schools from using this discredited and unregulated intern scheme. She is totally avoiding her responsibility to children, parents and their teachers.

“The Department of Education should pay for teachers and SNA’s and not use this JobBridge scheme which has been proven time and time again to be inadequate and exploitative. It is outrageous that this situation is allowed to continue.”