Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (84)

Kathleen Funchion


84. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to provide compensation to qualified teachers who have returned from working abroad and have been paid on a further education basis since their return due to not being registered with the Teaching Council through no fault of their own as a result of a backlog of applications with the Teaching Council; his views on whether teachers who have been working at a reduced salary while awaiting registration due to the backlog situation with the Teaching Council should receive arrears according to the appropriate pay scale which should have been registered or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24693/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the Teaching Council Acts 2001-2015 the Teaching Council is the body with statutory authority for registration of teachers in the State.  Section 30 of the Teaching Council Acts requires that a teacher in a recognised school be registered with the Teaching Council in order to be paid from public funds. 

Teachers are registered by the Teaching Council under the terms of Statutory Instrument 444/2016 which provides for a number of routes to registration, including primary, post primary and further education.  

Where a registered teacher is not available SI 32/2014 enables a school managerial authority to employ a person who is not registered as a teacher for up to five consecutive days. The Teaching Council advise that, for teachers qualified outside of Ireland, the assessment and registration process may typically take up to 12 weeks from receipt of all application documentation and depending on the time of year, recommending that applicants apply in advance of their planned return to or commencement of teaching in Ireland.

The recruitment and appointment of teachers to fill teaching posts is a matter for the individual school authority, subject to procedures agreed under Section 24(3) of the Education Act 1998 (as amended by the Education (Amendment) Act 2012). 

Department Circular 31/2011 sets out to ensure, as far as possible, that people appointed to teach are registered teachers with qualifications appropriate to the sector and suitable to the post for which they are employed and that unemployed teachers are offered employment in preference to those who have retired.  These measures were taken in an effort to increase employment opportunities for unemployed teachers.

An unregistered person who is not appropriately qualified and registered for the sector is paid at the unqualified rate of pay and can only be paid the qualified rate of pay for teachers from the date they are appropriately registered with the Teaching Council.