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Irish Teaching Council reviewing fees for Ukrainian teachers following concerns

The Teaching Council is reviewing registration fees for Ukrainian teachers in Ireland (PA)
The Teaching Council is reviewing registration fees for Ukrainian teachers in Ireland (PA)

The Teaching Council is reviewing registration fees for Ukrainian teachers, amid concerns that refugees were being charged 390 euro to work in Irish schools.

Concerns were raised by Labour TD Aodhan O Riordain, who said he had received reports that Ukrainian refugee teachers were facing being charged 390 euro to register with the Teaching Council.

The council is the professional standards body for Irish teachers.

“They will not have 390 euro. And if they do have 390 euro, they should probably be spending it on something else,” the Labour education spokesperson told the PA news agency.

Mr O Riordain said he had written to Minister for Education Norma Foley about it.

He said it was clearly a “barrier” for Ukrainian teachers hoping to work in Irish schools.

The politician said it makes no sense, given that Ukrainian teachers are needed in Irish schools, which are currently preparing to take in thousands of Ukrainian children, many of whom will have little English.

“It is likely a lack of proactivity, rather than bad faith, from the Teaching Council,” he said.

On Thursday evening, the Teaching Council confirmed that it was aware of the issue.

In a statement, a spokesperson said that a “streamlined process” for the registration and vetting of Ukrainian teachers in Ireland was being developed.

Ireland has taken in more than 15,000 Ukrainian refugees since the war began over a month ago.

The spokesperson said that the process will “include guidance documentation and a tailored application process that provides reasonable accommodations to allow qualified Ukrainian teachers to apply for vetting and registration in Ireland”.

The matter of fees is also under review, the spokesperson added.

Leaving certificate exams
Education Minister Norma Foley (Niall Carson/PA)

The Teaching Council already has procedures in place for teachers who have arrived in Ireland after fleeing from war or political turmoil, the spokesperson confirmed.

They said the council would “engage with any Ukrainians who, due to the situation in their home country, do not have the necessary documentation to register”.

“Where Ukrainian teachers have evidence of qualified teacher status, they can apply to be admitted to the register of teachers in Ireland in order to teach in schools,” the spokesperson said.

“Each application for registration will be assessed under the Teaching Council Registration Regulations 2016.

“Teachers who do not meet all the registration requirements may be registered subject to conditions. Once registered, Ukrainian teachers, irrespective of conditional status, are eligible to receive a state-funded salary to teach in recognised schools.”

PA has contacted the Department of Education for comment.