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 16,800 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. 

Deirdre Mac Donald 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. The following are links to some current ASTI 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 Richard Bruton.

Over 350,000 students attend 711 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 the following pay scales. Click here to view. 

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 ASTIteachers' pay and conditionsthe operation of schools; and, second-level education in Ireland.

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