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Sunday 4 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# Staff shortages
Teachers to be rotated among schools under new substitute panel plan
Schools in North and South Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kildare and Meath are being targeted in the new initiative.

SIX SUBSTITUTE TEACHER panels in urban and rural areas are to be set up which will allow teachers to rotate between schools. 

Schools in North and South Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kildare and Meath are being targeted in the new initiative to provide more certainty for schools experiencing staffing shortages.

The pilot scheme will see up to 18 teachers hired on full-time contracts. Each teacher will be based in one school and rotate among up to 15 other schools as part of a “substitute cluster” covering both urban and rural areas.

Education Minister Joe McHugh said the scheme could give cover to up to 90 schools.

Staff shortages 

He said the creation of substitute teacher supply panels is a direct response
to staffing difficulty reports from teachers, principals and management bodies.

“We are initially focusing the panels on Dublin, Galway and Cork and also the commuter
belts in Kildare and Meath. These are where significant staffing pressures are being felt.

“Much like the clustering initiative for post-primary schools to work together and share
teachers in some subjects, we are now asking principals and management to put the best
foot forward to make these new substitute panels work,” he said. 

The scheme means that two substitute teacher supply panels will operate in Dublin along with one each in Kildare, Meath, Cork and Galway from the start of the 2019/20 school year.

Each supply panel cluster will consist of 10-15 schools with two or three teachers assigned to each panel on a full-time basis. The idea proposed will mean that each teacher on a panel will be employed by one school in the cluster on a one-year full-time fixed-term contract.

Primary schools in the areas mentioned are being asked to collaborate and work together in clusters, with the minister stating:

“I urge them to see this as an effective solution.”

The department will be contacting the schools in the selected areas with the idea that the scheme will operate on a one-year pilot basis. 

Both primary schools and post-primary schools are struggling to fill vacancies 

With a significant number of Irish teachers working abroad, the minister has decided to travel to the United Arab Emirates within months to talk to Irish teachers about coming home.

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