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How to get a job in a school here ?

(24 Posts)
Isitnormalornot2 Wed 09-Dec-20 15:15:39

I literally have no idea anymore and feeling pretty fed up. I have a degree, pgce, special needs qualification and tefl and registered with the Irish teaching council. I qualified years ago but worked in the Uk and UAE for years.
I’ve been back in Ireland a few years now. I’ve had kids over the last 8 years and have been working private tutoring but would love a job in a school . I have absolutely no idea how plp get jobs here. I’ve applied for loads but don’t even get an interview and I’d genuinely love an sna role having some personal interest in this too but again can’t even get an interview.
I’ve volunteered etc also in lots of areas. Everyone I speak to says it’s all “who you know” in Ireland and I guess that’s my problem, I’m not from the area I live so have no connections...
I mean I go on education posts and there’s three jobs advertised in my whole county!? How is that even possible? I don’t want to move away again as my dcs are very settled and happy here but I miss the process of applying for a job and having loads to choose from. Genuinely baffled as to how I can get work here. Even straight after my hdip I applied for loads all year all over Ireland and never even got a interview here so moved abroad. Do plp really just walk into schools and ask to talk to principals, a few plp have suggested this to me..

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IlayPetty Wed 09-Dec-20 15:28:34

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Isitnormalornot2 Wed 09-Dec-20 15:55:51

Thanks @IlayPetty, that’s really interesting!
I’m actually working in a freelance position doing some tutoring and course design for some online institutes but the money isn’t great and the freelance aspect worries me ; lack of pension and I don’t have any rights . During coronavirus I couldn’t work because my dcs are quite young and so wasn’t paid. I actually enjoy my work and love the flexibility but it’s the lack of a “proper job” that worries me. I’m also so baffled as to why I don’t ever get an interview, this has been consistent from when I graduated. I had zero issues abroad and walked into jobs. Some of the teachers in my dcs school are related to each other so I imagine this isn’t a coincidence....
I’ve thought about retraining but I’m 36 and honestly wouldn’t know where to start and I don’t really want to spend loads of money more courses when I already have good qualifications..

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Montyman Wed 09-Dec-20 16:04:06

I understand your frustration. I’m not an SNA but I have a friend who is and her route into it after her qualification was by giving her CV into schools and saying she was available for subbing. She subbed in a special school for two school years and now is two years into a permanent SNA position in a mainstream school that has special classes. She loves it. During her subbing she would’ve only had a few weeks here and there without work and it was a hard slog but she got there.

SionnachRua Wed 09-Dec-20 16:09:22

SNA work is very hard to get, particularly out of Dublin. Teaching jobs too can be thin on the ground in some areas. There wouldn't be many jobs coming up at this time of year ime and this will be exacerbated in rural areas.

I echo the pp saying you need to hit the subbing circuit (seems to be varying levels of work out there, some schools crying out for subs and some with far fewer staff out ill than normal).

You could look into home tutoring as well. I hear you have to chase payroll (the worst government Department I've ever dealt with, absolutely useless) a lot though.

MadameMiggeldy Wed 09-Dec-20 16:12:45

Subbing and more subbing is your way in here

Isitnormalornot2 Wed 09-Dec-20 16:23:50

The thing is I have no idea how to get into subbing, I tried a couple of times pre covid to walk into schools but found it all a bit mortifying and the receptionists weren’t helpful as I’m sure they are so busy...
Do people really walk in and ask to speak to a principal? This would be such a no-no in the UK. I did email my cv and cover letter to schools in the area in connection to subbing but I never hear anything and imagine they are barely looked at with lots of other people doing the same thing.
I also think I’m a bit unconfident at this stage. Post hdip I literally applied everywhere as pre kids I was so flexible etc and for every job going and barely got rejection letters. It was the same when I moved home..

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SionnachRua Wed 09-Dec-20 16:33:53

You won't be able to just walk into a school atm (don't try it either, it will mark your card) but yes, very normal to just walk in with your CV! In non-Covid times I'd say it's preferable to walk in as then they have a face to the name.

I'd send out a second email re: subbing to your local schools. Start of the year is always manic, doubly so this year...while they may not have needed you it's possible that your email just was forgotten.

Isitnormalornot2 Wed 09-Dec-20 16:43:20

Thanks @SionnachRua, that’s great advice. And definitely haven’t tried walking in since the outbreak.
In normal times is it enough to give a CV to a receptionist or is it better to ask for a principal? I’m assuming it could be irritating as they are busy. Thanks for the replies, very helpful. I’m 36 now so genuinely thinking of retraining, I’m not young but on the other hand still (all being well) have years left to retirement. The thing is all my qualifications are in the education sector so wouldn’t know what other areas to go into, if anyone has retrained would love to know too!

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Montyman Wed 09-Dec-20 16:48:42

Have you applied for subbing in Special schools? Or are there many in your area? It is quite difficult to get into mainstream schools. It does feel very much like it’s who you know but also about experience so it’s a vicious circle. I certainly feel like if there is no experience on your application form they don’t even look further along the application to any of your qualifications, whereas I feel like a cover letter with ‘I’m available for subbing’ before your qualifications would at least make them read on a bit. There is an SNA group on Facebook; I’m not on it but according to my friend it is a useful resource.

Montyman Wed 09-Dec-20 16:51:03

To the poster about the payroll; I did my first and only subbing in October and only got paid last week - so yes the payroll side of it is a bit difficult but once you’re on the system it is supposed to be more straightforward for any further stints.

Isitnormalornot2 Wed 09-Dec-20 16:58:27

I think my lack of experience is the main issue but I have worked continuously but not in a classroom based role since being abroad.
It’s like I’m starting from scratch again and at 36 maybe I’m too old..
I will stress on my cover letter that I am looking for subbing. I’m just at that stage that I’ve had my family and looking for something more secure and long term but really divided about whether I need to totally retrain is getting a teaching role is unattainable here.

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Isitnormalornot2 Wed 09-Dec-20 16:59:14

Thanks for the advice again

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SionnachRua Wed 09-Dec-20 17:09:28


To the poster about the payroll; I did my first and only subbing in October and only got paid last week - so yes the payroll side of it is a bit difficult but once you’re on the system it is supposed to be more straightforward for any further stints.

Oh yeah once you are on the system it's fine but they are impossible to get a hold of when you need them. I also think it's ludicrous that they expect people to go 6 weeks without pay when taking up a job (have heard of some taking longer). Home tutors are very badly treated apparently. When I left the Department payroll and needed my tax credits swapped over the payroll dept were nightmarish as well, Revenue had to take over handling the issue with them.

Revenue on the other hand are a dream...but this is turning into a tangent and a half! smile

In normal times is it enough to give a CV to a receptionist or is it better to ask for a principal?

I used to give the CV to the secretary myself. Always play nice with the secretary as they're often the ones calling subs in the morning! Tbh I'd often find that the principal would make themselves known too when doing that.

Montyman Wed 09-Dec-20 17:09:49

I’m 34, and had the idea in my head that it was this year I was going to be an SNA so I feel your pain. I’m in an admin job now for the time being because I just wasn’t able to commit to the subbing yet because of childcare and how haphazard it might be. I will try again next year or the year after though once my youngest is in school and established because once you get into it, it really does seem like the dream situation, pensionable, on a salary scale and satisfying dealing with kids who need your help. So you’re not too old 😊

daisyhead08 Wed 09-Dec-20 17:22:52

Have you registered for subseeker @Isitnormalornot2? I have returned to teaching after a number of years working in the University Sector, and we would have advised all of our teaching graduates to register with subseeker.
In relation to getting work, it can very much depend on where you are based but my principal tried 7 subs yesterday and couldn't get anyone. Outside of Dublin can be tough going but as others have said, subbing is the gateway!

Isitnormalornot2 Wed 09-Dec-20 17:41:18

I registered with that on education posts but haven’t heard anything 😂

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AurorayRuben Thu 10-Dec-20 12:00:11

Basically it's down to who you know...sadly!

dumpling123 Thu 10-Dec-20 14:23:32

Send CV to schools and let them know that you're available. It's not clear to me if you're fully registered as a primary teacher with Teaching Council or have restrictions on your registration eg Irish language requirement. Are you seeking teacher or SNA work? You can't be paid for both in pay cycle with DES payroll so important to be clear what you're available for with schools.
If you are a registered teacher, do you have your vetting readily available, along with statutory declaration (google garda vetting statutory declaration circular form is at back of circular).
If you are looking for SNA work, you can't be employed until vetted and vetting is not transferable between schools. I'd be inclined to contact local schools, say you're available for sub SNA work and that you're willing to be vetted in advance to ensure that legislative requirements are met.
At this time of year, really all that will be advertised are long term substitute positions such as maternity leaves. Keep an eye on and staff during the summer for more vacancies.
If you're a teacher, joining INTO is a helpful way of getting your name out there and meeting principals (once face to face meetings resume) or even stating your availability during the AOB section of an online meeting

Isitnormalornot2 Thu 10-Dec-20 16:14:12

I’m registered with the Irish teaching council as a secondary school teacher. My Garda vetting is done through them , they have a system
where I can share a link with a prospective school/employer.

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Isitnormalornot2 Thu 10-Dec-20 16:14:36

Thanks for the advice!

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MarDhea Thu 10-Dec-20 18:17:35


Basically it's down to who you know...sadly!

Well, ish. According to the teachers in my extended family, it's more about being able to put a face to the name and make sure you're a reasonable human being.

So Ciara who did some exams supervision in the summer (well, not this year...) and handed in her CV for subbing, will be preferred over Sorcha who handed in her CV but nobody knows her from Adam.

But of course that will extend to past pupils of the school etc. having an edge over complete strangers. 🤷‍♀️

That was for both urban and rural town secondaries btw. (You can tell the conversation at my extended family gatherings is riveting grin)

MarDhea Thu 10-Dec-20 18:19:58

What I mean is any foot in the door will probably help.

You don't have to be the principal's niece or anything!

AurorayRuben Fri 11-Dec-20 10:28:47

Although being the Principal's niece would guarentee you the post!!
I actually didn't believe the level of nepotism in Ireland until I experienced it.
Moved back from England in the late ninties with my English husband....moved back three years later because he couldn't get a job!
Lots of experience in his field and a degree from UCL in his subject.
We're not all!

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