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Supply Panel Scheme Announced by Minister

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 27/09/2019. Supply Panel Scheme Announced by MinisterTags: Teachers Education

Up to 90 schools in six areas in Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Cork and Galway targeted under a new initiative to ease supply pressure for substitute vacancies at primary level.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today (Thursday 26 September) announced six panels to be created around the country to help answer demand for substitute teachers.

As part of the pilot programme up to 18 teachers will be hired on full-time contracts to work across school clusters in north and south Dublin, Co Kildare, Co Meath, Cork city and Co Galway.

It is intended that around 15 schools will be in each cluster with up to 90 schools benefitting from the initiative.

Minister McHugh first called for the creation of supply panels at the annual conference of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) last January.

“My ambition to see substitute teacher supply panels set up on a regional basis was in direct response to the staffing difficulties I’ve heard about from teachers, principals and management bodies in primary schools,” the Minister said.

“It is about trying to find clever and efficient ways of giving a qualified teacher security of work and ensuring they fill as many vacancies across a number of schools. It is possible now thanks to better use of simple technology which allows schools to work more closely and respond immediately.”

The supply panels focus on Dublin, Galway and Cork and the commuter belts in Kildare and Meath.

The areas were selected based on data which demonstrates they have the highest levels of unmet substitute cover in the country.

Minister McHugh said: “I want to thank the principals and the schools for taking on the role of the base school. Their role will be key to its success.”

The six base schools for the panels are:

  • Scoil Chroí Naofa, Athenry, Co Galway
  • Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Alainn, Montenotte, Cork
  • Scoil Bhríde, Leixlip, Co Kildare
  • Ard Rí CNS, Navan, Co Meath
  • St David's NS, Artane, Dublin 5
  • Presentation Primary School, Terenure, Dublin 6W

    The pilot scheme will see up to 18 teachers hired on full-time contracts and employed by a base school. The teachers will be available to work in the other schools participating in the substitute teacher cluster as and when need arises.

    The scheme will be reviewed towards the end of the 2019/20 school year.

    Minister McHugh said: “I am now asking all participating schools to actively engage with this pilot scheme to ensure that these new substitute panels work for the benefit of schools and their students.

    “The schools in the cluster should work together to get the best from this initiative. The schools are being given an additional resource and I want to see it become an effective solution to the challenges being faced.”

    Here are some of the details of the pilot scheme for substitute teacher supply panels:

  • Two substitute teacher supply panels will operate in Dublin (north and south) along with one each in Kildare, Meath, Cork and Galway over the 2019/20 school year. These locations that have been identified as having the greatest challenge in terms of sourcing substitute teachers.
  • It is intended that each supply panel cluster will consist of at least 15 schools with up to three teachers assigned to each cluster on a full-time basis.
  • All of the supply panel teachers will be recruited and employed by the base school/ ETB, on a full-time fixed-term contract.
  • If a substitute is not required on a given day in the cluster, the supply panel teacher must make him/herself available through the substitute teacher recruitment portal to cover short-term absences in schools outside the cluster.
  • The scheme will be reviewed towards the end of the 2019/20 school year to determine whether it will be continued in 2020/21.
  • The teachers will be assigned to schools in the cluster to provide substitution as required.
  • Clusters include a broad cross-section of school types, including urban and rural schools.



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