Launch of Teacher Upskilling Initiative in Mathematics, Physics, and Spanish

DCU to lead on Physics module and is also part of the consortium for Mathematics

The Minister for Education, Norma Foley, TD, and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD, together with the Higher Education Authority have today announced a new initiative for registered post-primary teachers to upskill to teach Maths, Physics and Spanish.

Part-time Level 8 programmes of two years in duration are being offered to teachers in related subject areas so that they can be upskilled to meet the Curricular Subject Requirements to teach Maths, Physics or Spanish to the highest level in post-primary education.

Dublin City University will lead the consortium delivering the Professional Diploma for Teaching Physics, partnering with NUI Galway, and University of Limerick. It is also part of the delivery of the Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teaching/Dioplóma Gairmiúil sa Mhatamaitic don Mhúinteoireacht by the University of Limerick partnering with NUI Galway, Technological University Dublin, Cork Institute of Technology, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, and Waterford Institute of Technology

Two cycles of the programmes will be supported, commencing in January 2021 and January 2022. It is expected that more than 300 teachers will be upskilled across the three subject areas over the two cycles.

Places on the programmes will be provided free of charge to registered teachers, with participants paying only an initial deposit to be refunded on programme completion.

Places will be prioritised for teachers who are unemployed, are in partial employment, or are teaching the subject of the upskilling programme out of field.

The programmes will be delivered on a flexible and blended basis to facilitate participation by teachers nationwide. Programme delivery will not impact on class contact time for currently serving teachers.Provision has also been made within the programmes to upskill teachers to teach Maths and Physics in an Irish language setting.

The programmes have been developed by accredited initial teacher education providers following a call for proposals. The call was managed by the HEA on behalf of the Department of Education and is one of a suite of measures contained in the Teacher Supply Action Plan to address teacher supply challenges in particular subject areas.

The initiative reflects the commitment of the Department to build capacity in the priority subject areas of STEM and MFL, and to providing quality professional learning opportunities across the continuum of teacher education.

Minister Foley said, “I am delighted to announce, with my colleague Minister Harris, the establishment of these innovative new upskilling programmes.

“Our post-primary schools have highlighted teacher recruitment challenges in certain subject areas, including STEM and modern foreign languages. These programmes will support the supply of teachers to meet the needs of our schools and students over the coming years in three key subject areas, mathematics, physics and Spanish.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the higher education institutions for coming forward with these approaches to help improve teacher supply in these subject areas and the HEA for their management of this process on behalf of my Department.

“This is an exciting opportunity for teachers to upskill in a flexible way with no fee cost, to increase their own opportunities for employment whilst addressing recruitment challenges in these subject areas. I would strongly urge any registered post-primary teacher with a potential interest in these subject areas to look into these programmes and assess their options further with the relevant HEIs.”

Minister Harris said,

“I am delighted with the response from our higher education institutions in coming forward with innovative approaches to provide upskilling opportunities for teachers through these programmes. I want to commend all the institutions that responded to the HEA call.

Dr Alan Wall, Chief Executive of the HEA said this is another great example of flexibility by our higher education institutions. “Building on the track record of our HEIs in providing quality upskilling programmes, the initiative provides a great professional learning opportunity for teachers and highlights the collaboration across the education continuum.”

Check out the DCU website for details on the Professional Diploma in Physics for Teaching

For full details on the initiative click here