Update to Teacher Fee Refund Scheme – Prioritisation of Funding

The Department of Education recently issued Circular 0015/2021, Update to the Teacher Fee Refund Scheme – Prioritisation of Funding. If you are thinking of undertaking a course during the next school year, you should read the circular first to see whether the course you intend doing will qualify for the refund of fees scheme.

The changes outlined in the circular come into effect for refunds claimed in 2023 relating to successful completion of courses year during the period 1 September 2021 – 31 August 2022.

Following a review of the scheme, the Department is implementing a number of changes to the scheme. The main recommendation of the review is that the funding available to the scheme should be used to prioritise teachers’ professional learning, teaching and assessment. Eighty per cent of the funding available will be assigned to relevant programmes in line with policy priorities in the following key areas:

  1. Upskilling for post-primary teachers leading to registration with the Teaching Council in an additional subject, to support teacher supply at post-primary level
  2. Inclusion and tackling disadvantage
  3. Promoting well-being
  4. Digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment
  5. Improving students’ literacy and numeracy
  6. Curricular initiatives including pre-identified areas of systemic need endorsed by school management (identified in the annual circular relating to the period in which course/year of course is completed).

The remaining 20% of funding will be allocated to provide a refund of fees for courses which are not directly linked to the areas outlined above but still fulfil the eligibility criteria set out in the annual circular.

Please note the following:

  1. Courses already funded, in part or whole, by the Department are not eligible for funding under the Teacher Fee Refund Scheme.
  2. Only courses which are subject to award by an appropriate accrediting authority recognised by the Department are eligible for funding under the scheme.
  3. Only courses linked directly to teaching, learning and assessment and endorsed by school management are eligible for funding under the scheme.