1. The Department is aware that, historically, schools were able to engage an unqualified teacher for a short period of time. Regulation 8 of the Teachers’ Eligibility Regulations (NI) 1997 made provision for schools “where no eligible teacher is available, to employ a person who is not eligible, with the approval of the employing authority, for a period normally not exceeding four weeks”.


2. The purpose of this Circular is to make schools aware that this legislative provision no longer exists. The Regulations were repealed1 with effect from 31 May 2009.


3. It is therefore not permissible to engage a non-qualified teacher in a grant-aided school for any period. This includes engagement of student teachers who have completed their final year but have not yet received their teaching qualification and confirmation of their teacher registration from GTCNI. To be engaged for supply work, a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) must also be fully registered with a ‘live’ status on NISTR.


4. Whilst Teachers’ Pay Circulars have continued to include an unqualified rate post the repeal of the Regulations, this related to historical contracts and is no longer applicable. The unqualified rate is not available for new engagements and will not be included in future Pay Circulars.