Principals urged to sign up to new teacher-sharing scheme

A new teacher-sharing scheme aimed at alleviating some of the recruitment issues facing schools has been announced.

Education Minister Joe McHugh urged school principals to sign up to the new scheme, which will allow post-primary schools to share teachers in priority subjects.

The initiative will start from the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic school year and will be reviewed after the first year of operation.

Mr 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 scheme is one of a range of measures contained in the minister’s Action Plan for Teacher Supply, published last November.

The development and implementation of the plan is being led by the Teacher Supply Steering Group, in recognition of the significant recruitment challenges some schools have experienced.

It is hoped the initiative will provide more options to ease recruitment pressures in some specific subject areas such as Stem, modern languages, Irish and home economics.

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

“Addressing the current and future challenges in teacher supply is a national priority,” Mr McHugh said.

“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 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 and it will allow a teacher to work as many hours as possible in a high-demand subject.

Mr McHugh 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.”

He said school management bodies and teacher unions had shown great commitment and co-operation by agreeing to innovative solutions such as the scheme being announced.

“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,” he said.

- Press Association

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