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Thread: Contracting out could resolve the expected long term scarcity of advanced maths teachers

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    Default Contracting out could resolve the expected long term scarcity of advanced maths teachers

    Mathematics is the key to the sciences and engineering. If Ireland is to achieve ambitions in ICT, information and communications technology which are vital areas of the economy, strong foundations in secondary school maths teaching are essential.

    However,it will continue to be difficult for secondary schools to attract a sufficient number of teachers of advanced maths in competition with business. With the continued growth in the computer industry and in computerised trading in financial derivatives and financial securities, there will continue to be numerous job openings in those industries for mathematicians on very high commercial salaries for the foreseeable future.

    Schools could resolve this expected long term scarcity of maths teachers if they were allowed like hospitals to contract out the service. Hospitals contract for the services of hospital consultants and agency nurses to cover scarcities of staff and schools could do so too.

    Contracting out would allow schools to raise the pay of maths teachers to compete with commercial rates of pay. As contractors,maths teachers would not be permanent employees with civil service pension rights and job security. That disadvantage would tend to keep experienced existing salaried teachers from joining contractors.

    Another disadvantage for contractors is that they might be required to teach in different schools depending on local needs.

    Naturally, trade unions would prefer if all teacher salaries were raised to a far higher level needed to attract sufficient maths teachers but that would be totally unrealistic.

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    Politics.ie Member mhagain's Avatar
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    Just like contracting out solved issues with school building and cervical cancer checks, eh Pat?
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    Politics.ie Member Beachcomber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patslatt1 View Post
    Mathematics is the key to the sciences and engineering. If Ireland is to achieve ambitions in ICT, information and communications technology which are vital areas of the economy, strong foundations in secondary school maths teaching are essential.

    However,it will continue to be difficult for secondary schools to attract a sufficient number of teachers of advanced maths in competition with business. With the continued growth in the computer industry and in computerised trading in financial derivatives and financial securities, there will continue to be numerous job openings in those industries for mathematicians on very high commercial salaries for the foreseeable future.

    Schools could resolve this expected long term scarcity of maths teachers if they were allowed like hospitals to contract out the service. Hospitals contract for the services of hospital consultants and agency nurses to cover scarcities of staff and schools could do so too.

    Contracting out would allow schools to raise the pay of maths teachers to compete with commercial rates of pay. As contractors,maths teachers would not be permanent employees with civil service pension rights and job security. That disadvantage would tend to keep experienced existing salaried teachers from joining contractors.

    Another disadvantage for contractors is that they might be required to teach in different schools depending on local needs.

    Naturally, trade unions would prefer if all teacher salaries were raised to a far higher level needed to attract sufficient maths teachers but that would be totally unrealistic.

    Who would fill these contract positions?

    Are you saying that maths people who are already getting "commercial rates of pay" would:
    1) be able to teach maths at the drop of a hat
    2) be interested in taking contract jobs that (like most contract jobs) wouldn't provide the things that you mention (civil service pension rights and job security) and don't mention (health, dental and insurance benefits)?

    Maybe you think that there are masses of unemployed maths people out there who are simply waiting to be treated like sh*t as most contractors are.
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    Politics.ie Member wombat's Avatar
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    Being good at a subject does not mean that you can teach it. The LC maths is broad and shallow whereas those using maths in industry tend to have in depth knowledge of a very narrow range. Whether teachers are on staff or contract is not the issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhagain View Post
    Just like contracting out solved issues with school building and cervical cancer checks, eh Pat?
    Civil servants here and the UK were innocents abroad in negotiating financially complicated leases on school buildings. In comparison,labour contracts have been negotiated well for many years by hospitals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat View Post
    Being good at a subject does not mean that you can teach it. The LC maths is broad and shallow whereas those using maths in industry tend to have in depth knowledge of a very narrow range. Whether teachers are on staff or contract is not the issue.
    The issue is schools can't afford to pay all teachers in all subjects the high salaries that would be needed to fill the advanced maths teaching positions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post
    Who would fill these contract positions?

    Are you saying that maths people who are already getting "commercial rates of pay" would:
    1) be able to teach maths at the drop of a hat
    2) be interested in taking contract jobs that (like most contract jobs) wouldn't provide the things that you mention (civil service pension rights and job security) and don't mention (health, dental and insurance benefits)?

    Maybe you think that there are masses of unemployed maths people out there who are simply waiting to be treated like sh*t as most contractors are.
    Hospital consultants, many construction engineers and software professionals are happy to work on contracts. Maths contractors could be attracted from abroad if the supply is scarce here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patslatt1 View Post
    Hospital consultants, many construction engineers and software professionals are happy to work on contracts. Maths contractors could be attracted from abroad if the supply is scarce here.
    Yes, many of them are happy to work on contracts, but that is generally because of the higher rates these people would normally expect to get precisely because they are in such demand.

    And, because they do not have the same employment rights as a permanent pensionable employee they need to fund their own pensions and put money aside for those rainy days when contract demand drops - something an employee either doesn't worry about (say in the public sector) or as they may be due redundancy money if laid off.

    If you offer zero-hours contracts at supermarket warehouse rates, don't be too surprised when those mathematics PhD holders don't hammer down the door of the local secondary school begging to teach the brats whose older brothers probably beat them up 10 years previously.

    “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Aldous Huxley

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    Quote Originally Posted by __e621 View Post
    Yes, many of them are happy to work on contracts, but that is generally because of the higher rates these people would normally expect to get precisely because they are in such demand.

    And, because they do not have the same employment rights as a permanent pensionable employee they need to fund their own pensions and put money aside for those rainy days when contract demand drops - something an employee either doesn't worry about (say in the public sector) or as they may be due redundancy money if laid off.

    If you offer zero-hours contracts at supermarket warehouse rates, don't be too surprised when those mathematics PhD holders don't hammer down the door of the local secondary school begging to teach the brats whose older brothers probably beat them up 10 years previously.
    The contract maths teachers would have to be offered pay substantially higher than civil service teachers pay to attract them on a contract basis.

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    Politics.ie Member making waves's Avatar
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    Patslatt is doing his usual crap on the public sector bullsh*t
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