Children could be sent home from Irish national schools in the near future due to a lack of staff and major shortage of sub teachers.
High levels of newly-qualified teachers are emigrating to the Middle East where jobs are more secure, salaries are higher and Irish teachers are considered some of the best in the world, according to the Independent.ie, and that has led to severe staff shortages in schools.
According to the union of the Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO), 800 substitute teachers are required to cover national schools nationwide. This week there were just 30 sub teachers available to cover Ireland's 3,300 schools.
The INTO say the system is at breaking point and schools may be forced to turn children away.
"On the grounds of health and safety, they will have no choice but to tell parents: 'There is no teacher for your child. They will have to stay at home.' "
Peter Mullan, INTO