I propose to take Questions Nos. 406, 408, 422 and 423 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, my Department recently contacted schools to outline a wide range of new additional measures to increase the availability of substitutes teachers.
In respect of one of these measures, the Teacher Education support services funded by my Department have made arrangements to release teachers who are on secondment to provide substitute cover in schools. As outlined in the notice to schools, arrangements have been made for available teachers from these services to register on the SubSeeker portal which is available to all schools. Principals can access available substitutes using this portal.
Those staff working in the Teacher Education support services also continue to support schools through their work in the support services when they are not called to provide substitute cover. A number of secondees have also been retained to continue to support the system by delivering planned priority CPD relating to reforms in Senior Cycle examinable subjects and some limited provision at primary level (e.g. Reading Recovery). All other CPD at both Primary and Post Primary, where substitution is required, will be deferred until after the February 2022 mid-term break. The temporary suspension of CPD will not affect the completion of the Droichead process for Newly Qualified Teachers whose contracts are due to end prior to the mid-term break in February. It is intended that this deferred CPD will be re-scheduled in the period following the February 2022 mid-term break.
This is just one of a number of measures to increase the availability of substitute teachers in schools, including of course the flexibility being provided by Higher Education Institutes to enable students teachers to support schools up to the end of term.