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Appointment of Substitute Teachers

Registration and Qualifications

As outlined in DES Circular 52/2013, school authorities, as employers, must ensure that teachers proposed for appointment to teaching posts for which salary grant is being sought must be:

1. Registered with the Teaching Council in accordance with Section 31 of the Teaching Council Act, 2001;


2. Have qualifications appropriate to the sector and suitable to the post for which s/he is proposed.


The following exceptions apply:

a) Where an employer can satisfactorily demonstrate that every reasonable effort has been made to recruit an appropriately qualified and registered teacher, an unqualified and/or unregistered person may be recruited pending the recruitment of an appropriately qualified and registered teacher and this provision must be inserted in the employment contract. The employer shall repeat the process to recruit an appropriately qualified and registered teacher within the period of any such contract and in any event within the school year. The person recruited will be remunerated at the unqualified rate.

b) In the case of an appointee who has applied to the Teaching Council, remuneration will be at the rate for unqualified persons pending the decision of the Council. This provision must be inserted in the employment contract. When registration for the sector and recognition of qualifications for the purpose of the post is achieved then incremental salary will be allowed from the date of registration. Otherwise the employer shall repeat the recruitment process within the school year.

All persons being appointed to teaching positions must be vetted prior to commencing employment unless they have already received a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau. The requirement for vetting applies in respect of all types of appointment of any duration including full-time, part-time and substitute positions. Further information is available in DES Circular 31/2016.


Employment of Substitutes for Teacher Absences

The arrangements for teacher absences are set out in three sections in DES Circular 0032/2007

Section 1 relates to absences which allow for the employment of a substitute teacher to cover teacher absences such as Sick leave, Family leave, Personal leave and School Business Related Absence.

There have been a number of amendments to this Circular since 2007, such as the removal of substitute cover for self-certified sick leave and the first day of Family Illness Leave. Two exceptions apply: 1) Substitute cover will be provided for the first day of an absence of a teacher on self-certified sick leave or the first day of Family Illness Leave in schools with two or less classroom teachers. 2) In the event that two or more teachers in a school are absent from teaching duty on either self-certified sick leave or the first day of Family Illness Leave, substitute cover is provided for the second and subsequent teachers that are absent.


Substitute Cover for EPV Days in One Teacher Schools

The Department will meet the cost of supplying a substitute teacher replacing Principal teachers in one teacher schools who are absent for any reason as set out in Section 1 of Circular 32/2007 and with the permission of the BOM. Substitute cover will also be provided for Principals in one teacher schools in respect of Extra Personal Leave (EPV) days.


Rates of Pay

Please see Substitute Salary Page 


Payment by Paypath

All substitute teachers are paid by Paypath since 1 January, 2005. BOMs should ensure that all details regarding Paypath are completed on the initial claim form by the substitute teacher to ensure that delays in payment are avoided.

Paypath details need only be submitted once and should only be re-submitted if there is a change in bank account details.


Incremental Credit for Substitute Teachers

Under Circular 10/2001, incremental credit can be awarded for qualified substitute service from 1 September 1985 upon a teacher’s appointment to a permanent post. The incremental credit awarded is limited to two years. This will remain to be the case in respect of substitute service given prior to the 20 December 2001. 

Since 20 December 2001, one increment is awarded for each 183 days service given by qualified substitute teachers.