London, Ont. School board seeks to hire hundreds as decade-long teacher surplus ends

London, Ont. –

For years, many certified teachers have struggled to find permanent employment with an Ontario school board, but the province’s decade-long surplus of teachers has ended.

“In the last few years, a perfect storm has occurred. The increase in student enrollment, the increase in pensions and the two-year college program for teachers have now created the opposite effect, in that we are looking for many teachers, ”said the principal. of Education with the London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB), Vince Romeo.

Romeo says teachers who are near retirement age may have been influenced to retire after their teaching experience during last year’s pandemic.

The Ontario College of Teachers confirms that the next few years will challenge district school boards in all areas of recruitment as the number of retiring teachers almost parallel the list of new ones qualified teachers.

The shortage has led to the creation of a new position within the LDCSB called “Temporary Classroom Support Staff”, allowing students currently enrolled in the College of Teachers to provide in an emergency.

The Thames Valley District School Board says it uses student teachers as occasional back-ups for French-language programs as needed.

Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Thames Valley local president Craig Smith said outside of the pandemic there is already a lot of pressure on the system.

“Teaching is a busy job to begin with, I mean it doesn’t just happen between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. during the teaching day. It’s like an iceberg – most of what happens behind the scenes or underwater you can’t see.

Smith adds that there hasn’t been much relief for teachers during the pandemic.

“There’s not a lot of pull in the profession now, it’s a tough gig on a good day, and there is all the pressures we had before the pandemic added to it,” Smith said. .

When it comes to losing teachers due to their immunization status, the Catholic council says only one support staff has been suspended without pay. And the public council suspended five permanent teachers and five permanent support staff.

Prior to this shortage, teachers could not be transferred between district school boards. But Ontario changed that regulation in 2020, allowing district school boards across the province to review all qualified applicants for long-term, casual and permanent vacancies.

LDCSB is looking to hire 300 teachers and 300 other support staff. The council will hold an open house on Tuesday, November 16 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at its head office at 5200 Wellington Rd. S., London.

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