The Teaching Council

What is the Teaching Council?

The Teaching Council is the professional standards body for the teaching profession. The Council seeks to set and uphold high professional standards for teaching and teachers. It does this in the interests of pupils and the public good but equally for the reputation and status of the profession. Established in 2006 under the Teaching Council Act 2001 the Council has 37 members, 22 of whom are registered teachers.

What does the Teaching Council do?

As the professional standards body for teaching in Ireland, the Teaching Council acts as the gatekeeper to the teaching profession at primary and post-primary level, and within specific areas of the further education sector. The Council ensures standards are upheld in the teaching profession by:

  • setting the requirements for entry to teaching
  • maintaining a register of teachers who meet the Council's registration requirements
  • establishing and promoting a Code of Professional Conduct, and
  • investigating complaints regarding the fitness to teach of registered teachers.

Who are the members of the Teaching Council?

The Council is made up of thirty-seven members as follows:

  • Eleven primary teachers, nine of whom are elected and two of whom are teacher union nominees
  • Eleven post-primary teachers, seven of whom are elected and four of whom are teacher union nominees
  • Two nominated by colleges of education
  • Two nominated by specified third level bodies
  • Four nominated by school management (two primary and two post-primary)
  • Two nominated by parents' associations (one primary and one post-primary)
  • Five nominated by the Minister for Education, including one representing each of IBEC and ICTU.

How is the Council structured?

The Council has 37 members, one of whom acts as Chairperson and another as Deputy Chairperson.

The Council is supported in its work by a number of committees and panels. These are:

  • Executive Committee
  • Investigating Committee
  • Disciplinary Committee
  • Registration Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Education Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Evidence of Character Panel
  • Qualifications Panel
  • Registration Panel

How will the Teaching Council benefit teachers?

The Teaching Council promotes professional standards in teaching in the interests of the public good. Professional standards also protect the reputation and status of the profession.

Since January 2014, registration with the Teaching Council is mandatory for any teacher paid by from State funds. Teachers benefit in many ways from registration with the Council. For example:

  • Registration provides teachers with statutory recognition of their professional status, and recognition and verification of their education and qualifications
  • Through a Code of Professional Conduct, the Council provides teachers with clear professional guidance
  • Fitness to Teach will protect the profession of teaching through the establishment of a formal complaints mechanism
  • The Council provides support in the transition from college to classroom for newly qualified teachers, through Droichead, the professional induction framework for newly qualified teachers and developing Cosán to support ongoing teachers' learning
  • Registered teachers have free access to an online library
  • The Council promotes and celebrates professionalism in teaching each year at FÉILTE, the festival of education in learning and teaching excellence.

In all of this work, teachers, through their representation on the Council will be afforded the opportunity to play an active part in setting the standards for their profession.

What is the difference between the Teaching Council and a Teacher Union?

The teacher unions have distinct roles which range from personal support and representation to negotiation on pay and conditions of service.

The Teaching Council is concerned solely with professional matters.

How do teachers register with the Teaching Council?

For information on who may apply to register and the procedure involved, click here