Teaching Council announces measures to enhance supply of teachers for supervision and substitution as schools reopen

The Teaching Council is introducing a range of interventions to support teaching and school communities as they prepare for re-opening. The measures form part of the wider approach for the reopening of schools being co-ordinated by the Minister and Department of Education in consultation with all stakeholders in education.

The measures being introduced by the Teaching Council are focused on increasing the supply of registered teachers who are available to fill vacancies, including supervision and substitution roles, to support the re-opening of schools for the 2020/21 school year.

There are 106,000 qualified teachers registered with the Teaching Council. It is estimated that up to 6,000 of these teachers are not fully deployed in schools and may be available for substitution and supervision. The Teaching Council will be contacting this potential grouping directly to encourage their participation in supporting the return to school.

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD said: “I am pleased to welcome the range of measures being taken by the Teaching Council to support the re-opening of schools at both primary and post-primary level.

“I announced last week that the Department is making funding for 1,080 new teachers at post-primary level available and putting in place new substitution and supply arrangements to provide additional teachers to all schools, in these extraordinary circumstances.

“I am pleased to say that a new Teaching Council regulation will enable, on an exceptional basis, teachers who are qualified abroad to complete their induction in Ireland. This is an added source of teacher supply and I have no doubt that this, along with the combination of other measures, will enhance the supply of qualified teachers available to primary and post-primary schools for the new school year.

“I would like to thank the Teaching Council for its work in supporting teacher supply, and particularly for its work connecting with the teachers on the register that may wish to re-commence teaching or increase their hours, to enable a safe return to school for all.”

Register Your Availability

Any teachers registered with the Teaching Council who are in a position to provide more substitution and supervision or to fill vacancies, are asked to register their availability through www.educationposts.ie and in particular through the Sub Seeker platform for short-term substitution requirements.

Teachers who are graduating this summer are asked to follow the instructions, including completing their vetting, in the email that they receive from the Teaching Council when the results have transferred over from the higher education institutions.

Higher Education Institutions (Teacher Education Universities and Colleges)

The Teaching Council has also consulted with the higher education institutions to identify mechanisms which will facilitate the availability of registered teachers on school placement to also be available to schools on a further basis as an additional resource including supervision and substitution. The HEIs will enable this in a number of innovative ways, including adjusting times of course delivery and tutorials for student teachers, also including online course delivery (which has already been established in view of the current pandemic).

Universities and colleges providing the Professional Master of Education (PME) post-primary programme of initial teacher education have also introduced flexibility in their course delivery to increase the amount of time which registered teachers on school placement can provide for supervision and substitution, outside of their placement hours.

Teachers Qualified Abroad

The Minister for Education on 30 July 2020 signed a Teaching Council regulation order which will allow, on an exceptional, time-bound and once-off basis, teachers who have qualified outside of Ireland but who have not completed the required period of induction in the country in which they have qualified to complete their induction in Ireland. This will require registration with the Teaching Council in compliance with all necessary standards prior to being able to teach. This measure will also be particularly relevant to Irish citizens who have studied and qualified abroad and who may wish to return to the Irish education sector as we deal with our current challenges.

Please click here for more information on how to apply under this regulation.

Recruitment and Employment

The recruitment and employment of teachers will continue to be handled in the normal way by school management and their related patron bodies, subject, as usual, to the necessary registration and vetting processes in line with the professional standards regulations of the Teaching Council. Candidates should visit www.educationposts.ie in the first instance.

Director of The Teaching Council, Tomás Ó Ruairc said: “The re-opening of schools, and keeping them open, in the next academic year is an absolute priority for the State and for school communities nationwide, most particularly teachers, pupils, parents and families. The Teaching Council will continue its close collaboration with the Department of Education and stakeholders to support our school communities in this process.

“The measures we are announcing today are designed to maximise the available pool of registered teachers to support schools in meeting their recruitment, supervision and substitution requirements in the next academic year. “Since 1 May, the Council has added 1,600 teachers to the register. It is anticipated that up to 3,200 new registrations will be processed by end of August. Each year, we process over 30,000 vetting declarations for teachers. Right now we are in the middle of our streamlined registration process for newly qualified teachers. This process has already been moved fully online in response to Covid-19.

“The re-opening of schools is asking all members of the school community – including teachers, parents and students – to come together in a spirit of mutual respect, care, integrity and trust. It asks leaders in all sectors of society to do what must be done to support our school communities in this collective endeavour. It may take a village to raise a child. It takes a nation, working together, to educate our children.”

The Chair of the Teaching Council, Seán McMahon, said: “When the current crisis loomed, teachers answered the call, transforming the learning and education environment to support students to the maximum possible, albeit under the most challenging of circumstances. I have no doubt that this dedication, and long standing commitment, will continue apace as schools reopen and the entire community of stakeholders involved in the education sector is energised to support teachers, students and schools.

“As the statutory professional standards body for teaching, working with multiple stakeholders in education, it is our experience that there is a very high level of commitment among the teaching profession to support school communities as the new school year approaches. This responsibility and commitment is grounded in the core values of the Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers – respect, care, integrity, and trust – the underpinning values and standards within the teaching profession. We look forward to further collaboration with all stakeholders in supporting our school communities as we continue to safeguard the vital role that education plays in our collective wellbeing and progress.”

Other protocols and documents to be referred to:

Guidance Note for School Placement 2020/2021

Protocol for Registered Teachers on School Placement during the 2020/2021 Academic year

The Teaching Council’s Initial Teacher Education Criteria and Guidelines for Programme Providers (2017)

Guidelines on School Placement (2013).


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