ASTI says primary teachers would need to be 'incentivised' to retrain for second level

Teachers 'converting' from primary to secondary schools is among ideas being considered to address staff shortages

ASTI says primary teachers would need to be 'incentivised' to retrain for second level

Photo: Leah Farrell/

Teachers are welcoming proposals being considered to help them move jobs between primary and secondary schools.

According to The Irish Times, plans to 'convert' teachers are being considered among a number of other measures to address staff shortages at second level.

If implemented, teachers would be encouraged to retrain to fill gaps for Junior and Leaving Cert subjects like languages and sciences.

It comes amid difficulties recruiting teachers for several secondary level subjects, while primary enrollment numbers are set to 'gradually fall' over the coming years.

Other proposals reportedly among consideration include the prospect of sharing teachers across schools for some subjects.

ASTI Assistant General Secretary Moira Leydon says primary teachers would be well able to make the change - but stresses that making 'upskilling' programmes would be essential.

Speaking to Pat Kenny, she observed: "They have the knowledge base, but I suppose the primary concern is that they will need to be incentivised to take up the two-year qualification programme for second level teachers."

She explained: "In order to teach a subject at second level, there are very, very specific requirements, and those requirements are enshrined and set out by the Teaching Council.

"It doesn't matter if a [person] is a primary school teacher, or a person who has done an engineering or a maths degree, they will still have to make sure their degree subjects allow them to teach at second level."