Question on the Employment of Substitute Teachers

-   Alan Farrell TD

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the turnover of substitute teachers in primary and secondary level schools are monitored by his Department with respect to each school; the rate of which the number of substitute teachers has increased or decreased since the embargo on recruitment; if there has been analysis carried out by his Department on the impact that this may have on the quality of lessons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Answered by Minister Ruairí Quinn

The employment of substitute teachers is a matter for the managerial authority of each individual primary and second level school.

It is outlined in my Department circulars that the managerial authorities of schools should only employ qualified teachers including substitutes to cover all absences and vacancies in their schools.

All teachers, including substitute teachers, are subject to inspection. In line with the annual inspection programme, inspectors engage with all categories of teacher to evaluate teaching and learning, to provide feedback on improvement and to report on quality and standards in schools.

Substitute teachers can only be employed by the managerial authorities of schools to provide cover for teachers absent from their teaching posts on approved leave of absence. The on line claim system determines the approved absences for which substitute teachers may be employed. If an absence is not approved the claim for the substitute teacher cannot be submitted for payment to my Department using the on line claim system.

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