Key Facts

Find out more about the ASTI, its members and teaching and education in Ireland.

Debunk the myths - the facts that challenge myths about teachers, the public service and trade unions

About the ASTI

The ASTI is Ireland's largest second-level teachers union and represents 17,500 teachers in community and comprehensive schools and colleges and voluntary secondary schools.

The ASTI was established in 1909.

The objects and aims of the ASTI are:

  • to promote second-level education
  • to unite and organise all second-level teachers
  • to promote and protect teachers' interests
  • to maintain and improve teachers' conditions of employment

Find out more about the work of the ASTI in our publications section.
Find out more about ASTI policy in our policy section.

About our people

Kieran Christie is the ASTI General Secretary.
The General Secretary represents and promotes the interests of the union and its members and manages the daily business of the ASTI and the execution of ASTI policy. 

Ger Curtin is the current President of the ASTI.

The ASTI President is an elected ASTI member, who takes sabbatical leave for the duration of their one year term of office.

Find out more about the structure and committees of the ASTI here.
Find out more about ASTI Head Office staff here.

About our campaigns

The ASTI engages in campaigns to promote high standards in second-level education and to improve teachers’ conditions of employment.

National campaigns

About second-level education in Ireland

The Department of Education and Skills is responsible for the administration and funding of second-level education in Ireland. The Minister for Education and Skills is Jan O'Sullivan.

Over 356,000 students attend 729 Department-aided second-level schools in Ireland.

All second-level students follow a prescribed curriculum at junior and senior cycle. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is the statutory agency responsible for developing curriculum.

The State Examination Commission is responsible for the provision of the Irish State Examinations: Leaving Certificate, Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate Vocational and Leaving Certificate Applied.


About teaching in Ireland

Second-level teachers must be registered with the Teaching Council, which is the professional body for teaching in Ireland, established by statute in 2006.

In order register with the Teaching Council, teachers must meet certain requirements, including holding appropriate qualifications and undergoing Garda vetting. See for more information.

The number of teaching appointments in a school is linked to the number of students attending the school. The current standard pupil-teacher ratio is 19:1.

Department sanctioned teaching posts are funded by the Department of Education and Skills. Schools may also employ teachers privately.

Department-funded teachers are paid according to three salary scales. One applies to teachers who first held Department-funded positions prior to January 1, 2011, the second applies to teachers who first held Department-funded positions between January 1, 2011 and February 1, 2012 and the third to those that first held Department-funded positions after February 1, 2012. 

Most recent OECD figures indicate that 27% of Irish second-level teachers are in non-permanent teaching positions. It takes some years for most newly qualified teachers to secure permanent or full-time jobs.

The ASTI website contains detailed information on the ASTI; teachers' pay and conditions; the operation of schools; and, second-level education in Ireland.

If you would like further information on a particular topic, please contact the Communications Office.