Dáil Éireann - Volume 543 - 06 November, 2001
Written Answers. - Teacher Recognition.
Mr. Stanton Mr. Stanton
868. Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Education and Science if the qualified teacher status for the purpose of teaching in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools in England meets the terms of Council Directive 89/48/EC; if this qualification is eligible for professional recognition in all other European Union member states including Ireland; the procedure which holders of the QTS have to undergo in order for this qualification to be recognised by his Department; the number of such applications made to his Department in the past three years; the number of these applications which have been successful; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27004/01]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): Arrangements are in place for the recognition in this State of teachers who are recognised teachers in another member state of the EU and to whom the terms of Council Directive 89/48/EEC apply. Statutory Instrument 1/91, by which Council Directive 89/48/EEC on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications was implemented, stipulates that the Minister for Education and Science is the designated authority for the recognition of teachers in primary, community, comprehensive and vocational schools, and that the registration council, with the approval of the Minister, is the designated authority in the case of teachers in voluntary secondary schools.
At post primary level, a teacher who is recognised as a fully qualified teacher in a member state of the EU may apply to my Department for similar recognition in this State. Full recognition is granted to such applicants where the appropriate authority is satisfied that the qualifications held by the applicant are of an equivalent standard to those required for teaching in this State. Where a substantial shortfall in the education and training of the applicant is identified, provisional recognition may be granted on the applicant undertaking to make good the shortfall within the required time limits by means of either passing an aptitude test or completing an adaptation period. At post-primary level there were 74 recorded applications under the directive referred to in 1998, 95 in 1999 and 117 in 2000. All were recognised either provisionally or in full.
At primary level, teachers are class teachers, rather than subject specialists, and must be qualified to teach the range of primary school subjects to children aged four to 12 years. In order to be fully recognised to teach at primary level in this country, teachers must have undertaken a recognised primary teaching training course and pos sess a recognised primary teaching qualification. Such a qualification can usually be achieved by a person graduating from one of the recognised teacher training courses in the colleges of education, including the postgraduate conversion courses, or by a primary teacher trained abroad achieving the necessary level of competence in the Irish language.
Primary teachers trained in another member state of the European Union, including the United Kingdom, whose qualifications have been assessed and accepted by my Department, but who do not possess an appropriate Irish language qualification, are granted a five year period of provisional recognition to teach in mainstream classes in national schools. During this period of provisional recognition these teachers are remunerated in the same manner as fully qualified teachers. The period of provisional recognition was extended from three to five years in order to allow such teachers adequate time to prepare for and pass the Irish language examination and also in response to the ongoing teacher supply issue at primary level.
However teachers from abroad who qualified as second level teachers in their country of origin and who have not undertaken an appropriate conversion course in primary teacher training are not accepted for the purpose of recognition to teach in a permanent capacity in primary schools. This is in line with the situation that pertains in relation to qualified second level teachers who trained in this State, and who have not undergone a post-graduate conversion course to qualify as a primary teacher. Such teachers are not recognised to teach in a permanent capacity in primary schools. Details of the number of applicants from abroad who have applied for recognition as primary teachers within the last three years are not readily to hand. However I have asked my officials to collate the information requested by the Deputy and to send it directly to him as soon as it is available.
Dáil Éireann 543 Written Answers. Teacher Recognition.