Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (106)

Gerry Adams

Question:

106. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the difficulties presented to national schools due to the unqualified substitute five day rule (details supplied); his plans to re-examine the unqualified substitute five day rule; and if there is scope for schools experiencing difficulties in recruiting substitute teachers to extend the service of an unqualified substitute teacher beyond five days. [22585/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

It is the policy of my Department that only qualified personnel should be employed by schools as teachers. Unqualified personnel should not be appointed except in exceptional circumstances and only when all avenues for recruiting qualified personnel have been exhausted and only for quite limited time periods. Circular 0031/2011 issued by my Department details a cascade of measures for the recruitment of teachers by schools, prioritising registered teachers over retired registered teachers and unregistered people.

Other than the limited exceptions provided for, Section 30 of the Teaching Council Act, prohibits payment from public funds to people employed as teachers in recognised schools unless they are registered with the Teaching Council.

The limited exceptions include a provision which allows for an unregistered person to be appointed where an employer has made all reasonable efforts to appoint a registered teacher and no registered teacher is available to take up the position in question. An unregistered person, so appointed, may not be paid from public funds for a continuous period of more than 5 consecutive school days. The employer must be satisfied that any such person appointed is competent and capable of acting in the place of a registered teacher in the school.

The employer must also continue to make all reasonable efforts to employ a registered teacher.