Teacher Supply

The issue of teacher supply has emerged as a very significant one for schools around the country.

We are aware of the challenges that primary schools are facing in relation to substitution, and which post-primary are facing in relation to both substitution and the filling of permanent vacancies in certain subjects.

The Teaching Council has been working on teacher supply for the past few years, and has published two reports: an Interim Report of the Technical Working Group in June 2015 and Striking the Balance in June 2017.

The Department of Education and Skills published a Teacher Supply Action plan in November 2018. The Teaching Council and the Department have been consulting with stakeholders about the action plan, hosting a series of focus groups around the country from November 2018 to January 2019.

We will continue to engage with all stakeholders in seeking to ensure a better balance between the supply of teachers on the one hand and the needs of schools and learners on the other.

Interim Report on Teacher Supply

Published June 2015

The Technical Working Group (TWG) was set up following an agreement between the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Teaching Council that an analysis of arrangements for the planning of the teacher workforce in Ireland should be undertaken. Click here to see the report.

Striking the Balance Report

Published June 2017

The Technical Working Group (TWG) published this report. Click here to read it.

Teaching Council Statement on Teacher Supply

Published February 2018

The Council published a statement on the issue of teacher supply. Click here to read it.

Articles on Teacher Supply

The Director of the Council wrote this article in the Irish Times on 26 September 2017 on the issue of teacher supply, whilst this article featured in the Irish Independent on Thursday, 8 February 2018 on the work of the Consultative Forum.

Consultative Forums

Further to the Striking the Balance report, the Teaching Council met with all HEI providers of Initial Teacher Education and school management bodies in June and July 2017. On foot of meetings with the HEI, we convened a forum of all stakeholders, including Higher Education Institutions, school management and teacher unions, to discuss practical steps which could be taken to address at least some of the issues which schools are facing.

The first meeting was held on 5 October 2017 and was attended by the Department of Education and Skills and the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The HEA provides funding to the colleges and universities who run programmes of Initial Teacher Education.

A report of the day’s proceedings can be found here.

Second Forum

The second meeting of the Forum was held on 7 February 2018 in Athlone. It was opened by Ms. Noelle Moran, Council Chairperson and a post-primary teacher, and was attended by a number of Council members. The agenda focused on identifying a small number of practical actions which can be taken in the short to medium term. A large and diverse gathering of stakeholders engaged in full discussion on many of the issues on teacher supply.

The feedback from the second day covered a range of points, including:

  • The urgent need to implement all the recommendations from the report on teacher supply, "Striking the Balance".
  • The urgent need to address the matter of pay equality.
  • Supply panels for substitute teachers.
  • How we must be careful to promote the profession in a positive way and safeguard the progress we have made in achieving a fully qualified teaching profession in Ireland.
  • The cost of qualifying to become a teacher, particularly the PME route.
  • More concurrent programmes for post-primary teaching i.e. 4-year degree which would qualify a person to become a teacher, combining foundation education studies and academic subject(s).
  • Subject quotas for the post-graduate route to post-primary teaching (PME) i.e. reserving a certain number of places on the PME for graduates with subjects where demand in schools is currently not being met.