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Education / Teaching

If you successfully complete a teaching qualification outside of Ireland and wish to teach here, you must register your qualification with the Teaching Council of Ireland. All teachers employed in State-funded primary and secondary schools in Ireland must be registered with the Teaching Council to be paid a salary by the Department of Education and Skills. Teachers are also subject to Garda Vetting in Ireland.

To be eligible to apply for registration in Ireland, you must be a fully recognised and qualified teacher, under the terms of EU directive 2005/36/EC, in the state in which you completed your teaching qualification.

The UK is probably the most common place outside of Ireland for Irish students to undertake a teaching degree. See more information about applying to courses etc. under ‘Study in the UK’ . To be a fully qualified teacher in the UK, you must successfully complete an initial teacher education qualification, together with a period of induction. It is worth noting that Northern Ireland does not require induction to be completed before it issues a teacher with a letter confirming that they meet the terms of the EU directive (2005/36/EC). This means that teaching graduates in the North may choose to complete their period of induction in Northern Ireland or in the South. Graduates applying for registration in the South, before completing a period of induction in Northern Ireland, will have “induction” attached as a condition of their registration status.

The Irish primary school teaching degree is a four-year programme and UK-based courses are mainly three years, so there may be a significant shortfall of specified course work to be made up.

A key issue to consider is that the study of the Irish language is a Teaching Council requirement for Primary School teachers. Those who qualify to teach in Britain or Northern Ireland must address this by successfully completing either an aptitude test - An Scrúdú le hAghaidh Cáilíochta sa Ghaeilge – Scrúdú (the SCG) or an adaption period - Oiriúnú le hAghaidh Cáilíochta sa Ghaeilge – Tréimhse Oiriúnaithe (the OCG). Further information can be found here.

A period of three years is granted, from the date of registration, to address all identified shortfalls attached to registration. During this time, you may be employed as a primary school teacher. However, failure to address the shortfalls within the three-year time frame will result in your registration lapsing.

You may think that you are limited do your teaching degree in an English speaking country. However, another possibility is to undertake an international teacher education course taught through English. For example, there are bachelor degrees in International Teacher Education for Secondary Schools in the Netherlands and in Denmark. These degrees prepare students to teach in international schools throughout the world, but graduates can also teach in Ireland subject to meeting the registration criteria with the Teaching Council.

University rankings by subject for Education (QS ranking, 2019):

  1. UCL, UK
  2. Harvard University, US
  3. Stanford University, US
  4. University of Oxford, UK
  5. University of Cambridge, UK
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