New Teacher Sharing Scheme for post-primary schools

New Teacher Sharing Scheme for post-primary schools Plaque outside of the Department of Education and Skills / Picture: Liffey

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today (Monday 25 February) announced a new scheme to allow post-primary schools to share teachers in priority subjects.

The scheme will start from the beginning of the 2019/20 school year and will be reviewed after the first year of operation.

Minister McHugh said: “The aim of this scheme is to alleviate some of the challenges schools have faced in recruiting teachers. This new approach to filling posts is a solution for principals who are seeking teachers and graduates who are looking for full-time employment and more options for work.”

The teacher sharing initiative is one of a range of actions contained in the Action Plan for Teacher Supply, published by the Minister in November 2018.

The development and implementation of the Action Plan is led by the Teacher Supply Steering Group, chaired by the Secretary General of the Department Seán Ó Foghlú, in recognition of the significant recruitment challenges some schools have experienced.

The aim of this initiative is to provide more options to ease recruitment pressures in some specific subject areas such as STEM, modern languages, Irish and home economics.

Minister McHugh said: “Addressing the current and future challenges in teacher supply is a national priority.  Principals and the boards of management in schools should seize this opportunity to work with a neighbouring school by sharing a teacher in a specialist subject.

With all the progress in our post-primary education system, the growing number of young people in post-primary and new initiatives like Leaving Cert PE and computer science, we need to focus on new ways of working.

I urge schools to see this as an opportunity and begin the groundwork to make the most of this new scheme.”

The teacher sharing scheme will allow two schools to work together to recruit a teacher for a job and employ them on more hours than if they were teaching in just one school.

It will optimise the use of teaching time. It will allow a teacher to teach as many hours as possible in a high-demand subject.

The Minister added: “It is a good option for the schools and for the teacher.  I am confident that it will make a difference and help to ease the difficulties that some schools have experienced in sourcing teachers of high-priority subjects. School management bodies and teacher unions have shown great commitment and cooperation in agreeing innovative solutions such as the scheme being announced here today.

Teacher supply is a complex challenge but we will only succeed in addressing the challenges if we continue to work together and seek to identify and implement flexible and innovative approaches to ensure that we meet the future needs of our schools, our teachers and our children.”

Source: Department of Education and Skills

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