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ASTI survey hits out at austerity measures

The ASTI has said austerity measures, including a ban on school promotions, is damaging the social development of young people.

The survey commissioned by the ASTI found that 82% of principals state that the moratorium on middle-management posts has undermined pastoral care structures and more than 40% reported that Department of Education guidelines on student mental health are not implemented properly.

Among those who responded to the survey were around 90 school principals or deputy principals.

Schools have lost an average of six middle-management posts since 2009.

Speaking on the survey’s results ASTI President Máire G Ní Chiarba the measures have reduced the amount time teachers have to support “students with difficulties.

“The research is unequivocal. Pastoral care structures have been substantially undermined by the moratorium,” said Ní Chiarba.

“In addition, increased workload is reducing the amount of time teachers have for vital non-teaching work including supporting students with difficulties. The wellbeing of young people is a major public health concern which is widely reported in the media.

“However, it is not a priority when it comes to education policy. Supporting students’ wellbeing and mental health requires more than procedures and guidelines, it requires adequate ‘human’ resources at school level.

“The very resources which students need to support their wellbeing have been greatly diminished in schools”.

:You can read the survey in full

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