Teaching in Ireland

(31 Posts)
Thecaravan Wed 24-Jun-20 18:48:33

Hi everyone,
My husband is Irish (from NI) and I am English. We are both primary school teachers teaching abroad and are looking at moving to Ireland. I am a bit worried about getting jobs and figure our best bet is probably nearer a city. Would that be more logical? Neither of us have Irish so that is also something we would have to learn but I understand we have 3 years to get that. I'm feeling really anxious about us moving and not being able to get permanent jobs as my husband seems to think we're going to walk into a massive house in the country and full time jobs grin. England at the moment is not a place I want to be bringing my kids up but I am stressed about the prospect of moving. We earn really good money where we live now and I'm worried about not having a regular income. We have a 2 year old and 1 year old too so would need full time childcare. Can anyone give me a realistic picture of what the chances are of securing permanent teaching posts in primary? Husband is saying ROI rather than NI as no jobs in NI apparently.

OP’s posts: |
daisyhead08 Thu 25-Jun-20 18:23:32

I didn't want to read and not reply. Teaching in Ireland is, according to me colleagues who have taught in the UK, a more enjoyable experience. Have you looked at the Teaching Council website? That should give you some of the information you need. www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/FAQs/Teachers-who-Qualified-Overseas/

To give you an idea of vacancies, you can join educationposts.com and have a look.

I'm not massively familiar with the procedure to register to complete the necessary Irish exam but again, www.education.ie/en/Education-Staff/Information/-New-Teachers/Irish-Language-Requirement-Primary-Teachers.html#:~:text=The%20SCG%20(An%20Scr%C3%BAd%C3%BA%20le,with%20the%20the%20Teaching%20Council might be a good place to start.

The Teaching Council do not make things easy for teachers, so if you are serious about this, please ensure you have everything you need in terms of Certification etc.. from the UK, in order to ensure that you do get paid.

If I can help at all or if you have any questions, please let me know. I've been working in the Education sector for a long time. I was a Primary Teacher and I now work in pre-service teacher education.

Best of Luck!

daisyhead08 Thu 25-Jun-20 18:24:15

my colleagues! I'm trying to do too many things at once! Apologies

SionnachRua Fri 26-Jun-20 02:43:27

You would have two requirements to meet afaik: pass the history of Irish education exam and show proficiency in Irish. The teaching council will have further details.

Teaching here is a much better job (and lifestyle) than teaching in the UK from what I read. Far less paperwork, far less observation. You not having any Irish at all will put some schools off (I suggest starting to learn it now) but you could focus on applying for SEN teacher posts. If you were a mainstream class teacher you could do a subject swap with another teacher (you teach their Maths while they teach your Gaeilge) so it could be easily managed.

Jobs in the countryside are harder to come by so I would look at moving to a city - certainly at the start as you're hampered by not having met the full teacher registration requirements yet.

Thecaravan Fri 26-Jun-20 19:18:07

Thank you so much for your help both of you. I really appreciate it. All the teachers I know from Ireland say how much better it is in terms of work life balance so it is definitely somewhere we really want to seriously consider. We're stuck out in he Middle East all summer so will try and make a start on the Irish and keep finding out what we need to get in place. We're not planning to move for another year or two so I guess we've time to put things in place.

OP’s posts: |
Trying2310 Sun 28-Jun-20 10:55:20

I'm Irish living in England teaching. Would love to go back but fear I would not get a decent job. I found in Northern Ireland it was very hard to get a full time permanent post. In certain areas and schools it appeared to be who you know not what you know that got individuals into permanent positions. That may not be the case but something I feel I picked up on. In comparison to teaching in England, my Irish teacher friends appear to less stressed and bogged down in admin and observations. There appears to be a lot more support for the unions as well which is very positive. However, in comparison to England there is not as much movement between schools and different job posts. People tend to stay in positions for many years so it makes it harder to find a position. Also, if you have been teaching for many years you may be too expensive. When I look at ccms for Northern Ireland teaching posts they are geared to one year temporary contracts and appear more suited to NQT.

GimmeAy Sun 28-Jun-20 10:59:47

You'd do very well to become sufficiently proficient in Irish in 2-3 years from scratch. Apart from that, they don't seem to be as stressed as English teachers.


SionnachRua Sun 28-Jun-20 11:44:08

Also, if you have been teaching for many years you may be too expensive

They're moving to ROI - this won't apply as we are paid directly by the Department of Education, not the individual school.

You could certainly learn Irish from scratch in 3 years, a colleague of mine recently went through the whole process.

Smurf123 Sun 28-Jun-20 12:00:19

It is hard to get a permanent teaching job in ni but there is plenty of subbing. Teacher friend left ni to go teach in England after we graduated and came back to ni last summer... She subbed for September and by the end of Sept she had a maternity post taking her all the way through to the end of June this year.. Once you get your name in a few schools you tend to be kept busy.
I teach in sen primary school in Belfast. We often can't get subs for love nor money! I know it isn't ideal when you have kids but honestly I found it wasn't as bad as I thought.
I subbed for 4 years (plus one year abroad in the middle) before I got my permanent job. The first year I was short term / daily subbing- Sept, December, April(easter) were the quiet months, the next 2 years I was a sub with my own class in one school then a year abroad even though the school I was in was offering me another full time year subbing and the promise of an interview (dh wanted to move to his home country)
Then we came home to ni despite the better pay permanent Jobs in his country we prefer it here where we can have a house and a garden and not an apartment in a concrete jungle. I subbed in mainly sen although I was swapped between classes I was in one school from Oct to June pretty much full time. They helped me with interview techniques etc while I was with them and then I landed my permanent job that summer in a school I had never so much as subbed in.
It might be worth looking at ni especially if you might have family here to help out too with the move or your kids. Permanent Jobs can be hard to come by but subbing isn't as bad as it seems. Work out how many days you would need to sub to pay the bills it might be less than you think and can be doable. Plus you don't have to learn Irish!

Nellydean21 Sun 28-Jun-20 12:12:29

I taught in UK for 20 years then returned to Iteland. TC is overly complicated regarding paper work, give it 6 months to complete.
Post primary here so needing Irush not a problem.
I would avoid Dublin due to the high cost if rent. East coast is most populated lots of schools.

Teaching is fantastic here compared to UK. In terms of workload, paperwork, scrutiny, pay, holidays and reputation.

I got the first job I applied for and experience in UK is very valued.

Good luck.

Viragoesque Sun 28-Jun-20 12:15:35

You could certainly learn Irish from scratch in 3 years, a colleague of mine recently went through the whole process.

You absolutely could, but -- forgive me the generalisation, but it was one I garnered in 20+ years of living in England -- a lot of English monoglots struggle with learning another language, and feel it is an incredibly difficult thing to do. And even if you're living in a Gaeltacht area, total immersion isn't possible the way it would be, say, if you went to live in France and wanted to become fluent in French.

Which is absolutely not to say you shouldn't do it, OP -- I certainly have foreign friends who've learned Irish well from scratch, but they were already multilingual and very enthusiastic -- only that you would need to consider the extent to which you can both engage with learning an entirely new language in three years, with two small children and two jobs.

Someone else may be able to say more about precisely what level of Irish you need to fulfill the requirement.

GimmeAy Tue 30-Jun-20 10:21:59

You could certainly learn Irish from scratch in 3 years, a colleague of mine recently went through the whole process.

An gceapann tú?

GimmeAy Tue 30-Jun-20 10:22:45

Why is there a g before the c in my above question?

GimmeAy Tue 30-Jun-20 10:23:44

@Thecaravan Have you ever studied any languages other than English?

GimmeAy Tue 30-Jun-20 10:28:00

Irish grammar is extremely complicated. In order to teach Irish at primary school level, I'm not sure how in-depth you would need to go, but you would certainly need at least 6 weeks in a Gaeltacht area to develop your conversational Irish. As it's not really spoken outside of the Gaeltacht, it's not a language you can easily immerse yourself in.

GimmeAy Tue 30-Jun-20 10:29:28

Tuigim = I understand
Ní thuigim = I don't understand

Why is there an extra h in the negative?

Thecaravan Tue 30-Jun-20 11:28:23

Many thanks for everyone's help and advice. GimmeAy and Viragoesque that is my concern. I studied French and German to A level and taught myself basic Russian and Spanish when travelling but that was way back before kids and full time jobs. DH also speaks only the very basics of Irish but seems to be under the impression that we'll just pick it up really easily through some sort of osmosis hmm and that you probably don't need to speak it very well anyway!
I think maybe looking at cities in NI might be a starting point where there may be more jobs although then there's the cost of expensive teachers. Ah such a minefield. There's loads of jobs in parts of Scotland too but DH not keen though from what I've heard it might be a compromise. Anyone taught there too??

OP’s posts: |
GimmeAy Tue 30-Jun-20 11:40:02

Irish is not an easy language to pick up and your DH sounds like he has his head in the clouds.
Also worth noting, but I'm not 100% sure, but to teach in a lot of Irish primary schools, which are at least 80% Catholic, you would be required to teach the Catholic curriculum. Unless things have changed dramatically since I went to school.
If you're set on Ireland, would you consider a one year post-grad to become a secondary school teacher in something or another?

Smurf123 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:43:20

I think the expensive teachers thing is a bit of myth and legend... I know in our school many of the subs have been subbing for years or are retired teachers so top of the payscale.. And many of the advertised jobs ask for several years experience as an essential criteria. I was m5 before I got my permanent job had moved up payscale every year while subbing.

Nellydean21 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:45:16

Yes it is a myth. I'm on point 22 and got CID in the first job I applied for. Experience is valued.

SionnachRua Tue 30-Jun-20 21:11:44

Why is there a g before the c in my above question?

An urú, yes. Your other example is a seimhiú. Both essentially make speaking 'easier' and more natural but it does complicate grammar.

My colleague learned Irish in about 2 years I think. She had kids under 5 at the time and wouldn't have had any knowledge of Irish prior to beginning teaching here. It is possible - didn't say it was easy - but it is achievable.

You would have to get to a decent standard of Irish OP as you will have interview questions in Irish.

Also worth noting, but I'm not 100% sure, but to teach in a lot of Irish primary schools, which are at least 80% Catholic, you would be required to teach the Catholic curriculum.

Yes this is true (but how much religion you'll have to teach varies...most schools I've been in just pay lip service to it). You would have to get the RS teaching cert to certify you for it. I know Maynooth do a course for it but not sure if other places do too.

The school won't be paying your wage themselves so they don't care how high up the payscale you are. I agree with the others, experience is valuable.

Secondary teaching is a possibility but some subjects have a glut of qualified teachers. It can be hard to get a job in certain subjects and you may get very low hours - so that's another area to research.

GimmeAy Wed 01-Jul-20 11:51:21


Glad you answered the questions, because I didn't know the answers lol!!

Yes, I guess that unless you're preparing a First Communion class or a Confirmation class, it is all about loving and caring etc. etc. I'm sure there's a book you could work from without knowing fuck all about Catholicism - we had the dreaded Cathechism (sp?). in school back in the day.

SionnachRua Wed 01-Jul-20 20:23:15

Grow in Love is the new programme for Catholicism. It's alright like - a bit woolly and overly padded out but I suppose that has to be done to get two and a half hours of content out of it grin Not a patch on the Alive O songs I grew up on!

Anyway OP it is a barrier for sure and we don't have huge numbers of non-Irish people in teaching here. The language and the religion (and the Teaching Council being worse than useless) play a big part in it, I think. I'm hoping that teaching becomes more diverse in Ireland in the future.

Nellydean21 Wed 01-Jul-20 23:28:17

Lots of new Educate Together schools that are multi denominational.

GimmeAy Wed 01-Jul-20 23:42:11

Slightly off-topic but this is a beautiful rendition of Hello by Adele as Gaeilge!

14 years studying Irish and I could only catch a word or two OP, so don't worry, the standard of teaching of Irish is pretty shit I think - unless you get to go to the Gaeltacht. That said, I managed to get a B in Higher Level in the Leaving, so something must have gone into my pea brain. I've studied a few of the Latin languages and found them so much easier than Irish. It's a strange one really. It's really beautiful though, so worth a listen.


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