Blog: Brexit ratchets up delays for Irish teachers seeking jobs in the North’s classrooms –

Newly qualified teachers in the Republic seeking work in Northern Ireland now face a longer wait for clearance due to Brexit.

o secure employment in a Northern Ireland school, teachers must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI).

Before Brexit, newly qualified teachers in the Republic were treated the same as their counterparts over the Border and the registration process took an average of six to eight weeks.

However, following Brexit, teachers from the South are now classed as being from the ‘rest of the world’.

As a result, the registration process could take up to six months to complete.

Details of the new delay for teachers from the Republic emerged as the GTCNI continues to work through a backlog in registration applications caused by problems around a recent upgrade of its IT system.

The GTCNI is an arm’s-length body of Northern Ireland’s department of education.

The problems with registration affect teachers who graduated in 2021 and are seeking to work in the North.

A Department of Education official last week told the Northern Ireland Assembly’s education committee that the issue had resulted in “multiple delays” in the registration of new teachers.

Alison Chambers, director of promoting collaboration and tackling disadvantage at the department, said work was continuing to clear the backlog in applications.

“It is deeply regrettable that these have only grown in number and severity over the summer period,” she said.

In relation to new teachers in the Republic looking to work in Northern Ireland, a spokesperson for the North’s department of education told the Sunday Independent they had received 11 registration applications this year.

While these applications are being processed as quickly as possible due to the recent IT problems, the spokesperson confirmed the potential delay to future applications from the Republic as a result of Brexit.

“Over the summer period there have been delays for some applicants waiting to register with the GTCNI. A number of different factors have affected applications made by both newly qualified teachers and experienced teachers. These have impacted teachers who qualified in Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK, Ireland and the rest of the world.

“Historically, under EU arrangements for mutual recognition of professional qualifications, applications from Irish qualified teachers were assessed on a similar basis to those received from GB-qualified teachers, typically taking the same six to eight weeks for assessment.

“Since the UK’s EU-Exit, all EU applicants, including teachers who qualified in Ireland, must be processed under GTCNI’s ‘Rest of the World’ process.

“This process notionally has a longer timescale for approval, up to four to six months, allowing for the potential complexity of such cases.

“GTCNI has well established links with the Teaching Council Ireland (TCI) and is well aware of the high quality of Ireland’s initial teacher education courses.

In the Republic, newly qualified teachers must complete a probationary period before they can register with the TCI. Once registered, those who wish to work in the North must then register with the GTCNI.

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