Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Questions (177)

Joan Burton

Question:

177. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans in respect of job sharing and career break entitlements for primary teachers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4951/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The provisions of the Career Break and Job Sharing Schemes are set out in Chapters Eight and Nine of  "Terms and Conditions of Employment for Registered Teachers in Recognised Primary and Post Primary Schools, which is published on my Department’s website.

In response to reported difficulties by schools with regard to recruiting substitute teachers, my Department issued notification on 26th January that it was suspending the restrictions regarding substitution limits for those on a career break for the current school year. Prior to this decision the limits were 90 days in Primary Schools and 300 hours in Post Primary Schools.  The notification also reminded employers that “in considering applications for Career Breaks, the welfare and educational needs of the pupils shall take precedence over all other considerations and accordingly, must take account of the availability of appropriate qualified replacement teachers.  This requirement has always been part of the Career Break Scheme, which is a discretionary scheme.  I understand from representations received that suspending the restrictions as outlined will provide immediate assistance to some schools finding it difficult to recruit qualified substitute teachers.