Brexit is a threat of the Irish education systems says INTO

With substitute shortages endemic across Ireland, a disorderly Brexit presents unique challenges to teachers and the education system according to the INTO. 

On his way to Brussles to discuss the fallout from Brexit to the education systems north and south INTO Northern Ireland Chair Paddy McAllister said:

“As a trade union that operates across the island of Ireland, we are concerned that a no-deal Brexit would leave some of our members without protection. Those members crossing the border each day to teach in schools in both jurisdictions, play a critical role in our society and deserve clarity on their roles.”

Cross border qualifications

Primary school teachers trained in Northern Ireland and whose qualifications have been assessed and accepted by the Irish Department of Education and Skills, but who do not possess an appropriate Irish language qualification, will be granted a 5-year period of provisional recognition to teach in Irish national schools.  During this period, teachers must work towards meeting the Department’s Irish language requirements.

 In Northern Ireland, individuals who have been recognised as a qualified teacher in the EU, EAA or Switzerland may make application for recognition with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland.

It remains to be seen how these jobs will be facilitated should the UK depart the EU without a deal. Teachers undertaking these critical roles deserve clarity.

Supply shortages

The INTO say that schools in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland continue to notify the INTO of their ongoing struggle to secure supply teachers. 

At such a critical time for staffing these positions, it’s imperative that additional barriers not be created which will only affect school’s ability to provide quality teachers day in day out across Ireland, the union says.