Teachers who qualified abroad to be fast-tracked into Irish schools

Move aimed at supply of registered primary and second level teachers available to fill vacancies

Teachers who qualified outside Ireland are now eligible to apply for registration and complete their induction in Ireland under a new measure aimed at boosting the supply of classroom professionals.

The step, which is being implemented by the Teaching Council, is aimed at increasing the supply of registered primary and second level teachers who are available to fill vacancies, including supervision and substitution roles.

Primary and second level schools say they have been struggling to find teachers due to a combination of factors including the cost of accommodation in urban areas and teachers moving abroad.

It is the latest move aimed at increasing the supply of teachers, including the release of many involved in continuous professional development courses as well as student teachers.


The Teaching Council has announced that the new measure for teachers who qualified abroad will be in place until February 1st, 2024. It is a similar measure to previous changes implemented during the pandemic, and its re-establishment forms part of wider ongoing initiatives to alleviate teacher supply issues.

Acting director of the Teaching Council, Phil Fox, said there is a current register of more than 118,000 teachers across primary, post-primary, further education and student teachers.

“This has grown each year since 2006 and is at its highest level in the history of the State. At present, each year there are up to 5,500 applicants for initial registration, who are eligible to teach in schools, resulting in a net growth of 3,600 registrants annually,” she said.

“There are widely acknowledged pressures on the availability of teachers at present given all prevailing circumstances. We will be promoting awareness of this further new regulatory initiative among the profession at home and abroad, in addition to other measures being implemented to support teacher supply and substitution requirements.”

Separately, the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) has criticised changes to professional development courses which it has warned may lead to reduced participation numbers.

Under the changes, the Department of Education has set out that all online courses must contain eight hours of synchronous, or real-time, learning.

The INTO said this will limit teacher choice and opportunity to participate in these courses and create further obstacles for teachers juggling caring and parental commitments during the summer.

Such summer courses provide professional development for teachers.

This union said no consultation took place in respect of the changes.

“It is also clear that these changes may have a knock-on impact on the delivery of summer provision programmes for our most vulnerable children, as many teachers will no longer be in a position to support this programme while completing their professional development courses,” the INTO said, in a statement.

The union said it will engage with the department on the matter.

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent