Wednesday, 29 March 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
186. Mr. Enright asked the Minister for Education and Science further to Parliamentary Question No. 225 of 24 February 2000, the number of teachers in primary education who are paid by his Department and do not have a recognised national school teaching qualification; the number in this category who have more than ten years service; the entitlement of these non-qualified teachers to increments and other benefits and allowances payable to national teachers; the proposals, if any, he has to recognise this category of staff and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9252/00]
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): There are approximately 700 teachers employed in a temporary capacity in primary schools who are currently in receipt of the untrained rate of salary. Teaching service by non-qualified persons does not carry entitlement to increments or allowances.
The majority of these persons are employed on a short-term basis as boards of management are required to make every effort, including advertising in a national newspaper, to obtain the services of a qualified teacher.
I am aware that there are persons who have served in a substitute capacity for a number of years who do not have a recognised primary  teaching qualification. Again, boards of management are required to make every effort to obtain the services of fully qualified substitute teachers.
There are no plans to establish a course to enable persons who are untrained and have served primarily in a substitute capacity for periods in excess of ten years, obtain qualifications to deem them suitable for appointment as qualified primary teachers.
Persons who hold a primary degree may apply for admission to a postgraduate course conducted by the primary teacher training colleges. The courses, which are generally of eighteen months duration, enable a primary degree holder become fully qualified for appointment in a primary school.
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