12 December, 2019 - Minister McHugh welcomes new online substitute teacher recruitment website for primary and post-primary schools

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. has today (Thursday 12 December) praised the two main principals’ and deputy principals’ organisations for creating a new recruitment website for substitute teachers.

The Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) and the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) have created the online Sub Seeker service to match available teachers with short term substitute vacancies in schools.

Minister McHugh said: “Congratulations to the IPPN and NAPD on the new online recruitment service. It will make it easier for schools to recruit substitute teachers.

“I hope it will build on the steps that the Department is taking on teacher supply and the work others are undertaking to help address staffing challenges in schools. The Turasabhaile.com initiative involving post primary school management bodies, including the ETBI, ACCS, JMB as well as the NAPD, shows the benefit of new recruitment models.

“Collaboration and engagement with and between all stakeholders is important to tackle the issue of teacher supply in schools across the country.

“I want to encourage teachers and schools to register with the new online service. Their engagement will be key to its success.”

Sub Seeker is accessed from educationposts.ie and is live from today.

Páiric Clerkin, IPPN chief executive, said: “Sub Seeker will assist school leaders with short term recruitment and hopefully ensure that every available primary and second level substitute teacher can be employed instantly to cover absences.”

National Director of the NAPD Clive Byrne said: “Colleagues are experiencing such a shortage of qualified substitutes that it makes sense for NAPD and IPPN to collaborate and pool our respective systems in a new partnership called Sub Seeker. I hope that Sub Seeker will become a ‘one stop shop’ for colleagues seeking substitutes.”



Notes for Editors

Teachers available for substitute work and schools seeking to recruit substitute teachers must register with the service, which is free to use.

  • The teacher profile includes qualifications and experience and the teacher selects up to 6 counties in which they are willing to work.
  • A teacher indicates his/her availability for the next 7 days.
  • The service is mobile compatible and teachers receive work offers directly online and via email.
  • Over 800 teachers, from the primary and post primary sectors, have registered as the system goes live.

Teacher Supply

Steering Group on Teacher Supply: The Steering Group on Teacher Supply is leading the development of a programme of actions on teacher supply and overseeing its implementation. The Steering Group is chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.

Teacher Supply Structures: The Teacher Supply Implementation Group supports the work of the Steering Group. The Implementation Group is in turn supported in its work by a number of working groups which consider and report on particular issues.

Teacher Supply Action Plan: The Teacher Supply Action Plan contains a range of priority actions identified through the work of the Steering Group and engagement with stakeholders. These actions are classified under four broad headings:

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Promotion of the teaching profession
  • Higher education policy
  • Policies and arrangements for schools and teachers that impact on teacher supply and demand.

Actions to date include:

  • The “Teaching Transforms” campaign (digital and radio)) is ongoing to promote the teaching profession, supported by a dedicated webpage.
  • Following engagement with the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the higher education institutions (HEIs) have put in place new post primary initial teacher education (ITE) undergraduate programmes in 2019 in a number of priority subject areas. These have been reviewed and accredited  by the Teaching Council. More new programmes are also planned to commence in September 2020.
  • The HEA is engaging with the HEIs to explore the development of      programmes to upskill existing teachers in targeted post primary subject      areas.
  • The Teaching Council has reviewed the implementation of student teacher school placement guidelines.
  • Stakeholder consultative forums and focus groups for teachers, principals, parents, student teachers and school students have been held with further engagements planned over the coming school year to inform policy to address teacher supply challenges.
  • Substitute teacher supply panels for primary schools are operating on a pilot basis for 2019/20 in 6 locations that have been identified as experiencing a significant challenge in recruiting substitute teachers (two panels in Dublin and one each in Kildare, Meath,Cork and Galway)
  • The Department published Circular 0015/2019 with details of a new teacher sharing scheme for post-primary schools. The scheme is intended to enhance curricular choice in schools and support young teachers in obtaining full time employment.

The Teacher Supply Action Plan is available here:


More information on Sub Seeker is available from the IPPN here: