Ingignis Academy Trust

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Teacher Training for Irish & EU Graduates Working in the UK

Emma Keane joined the Insignis Academy Trust from the University of Galway

"I chose to undertake teacher training with IAT for its dedication to creating a diverse student experience at the heart of which exists a focus on cultivating an environment of academic growth and personal development. The training route provided by IAT is aimed at getting potential teachers into the classroom from day one, immersed in the student experience and honing your craft with support and guidance from dedicated professionals. I began my journey as an English Apprentice Teacher at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School followed by a short placement at another school in the Trust and I have loved every second of it. This unique opportunity afforded me the experience in contrasting educational settings. This programme puts you, as a trainee, at the forefront of pedagogical developments and teaching strategies. Now, I am halfway through my training year with incredible experience and knowledge. I spend all day, five days a week, in the classroom doing what I love, and I complete my training online in the evenings. As I study, I get to put the strategies, techniques and feedback into practice immediately.  By the end of this year I will graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Qualified Teacher Status.

Information for Irish and EU Teachers 

Since Brexit, there have been some rule changes to working in the UK for European Union Citizens. 

Irish Citizens do not require a Visa to travel to, or live in the UK. Successive Anglo-Irish agreements and the Common Travel Area mean that an Irish Citizen can travel to, and work in the UK without difficulty. This is different from other European Union Citizens, who do require a Visa to work in the UK due to the end of the EU Free Movement of Labour regulations in the UK. 

Living in the UK 

Irish Citizens are able to live in the UK and have the same rights as naturalised UK Citizens. These rights are protected by successive Anglo-Irish agreements. In practice, this means that Irish Citizens in the UK are legally entitled to purchase property, are open to taxes and are eligible to register to vote in local and national elections. 

On arrival in the UK, Irish Citizens, like UK residents, will need to apply for a National Insurance Number. This is the key identifier for taxation, national pension and importantly, National Insurance contributions. While UK Citizens are awarded their National Insurance Number when they turn 16, Irish Citizens moving to the UK will need to attend an interview at their local UK Social Security Office. At Insignis Academy Trust (IAT), we treat this as paid leave and we will always release new overseas staff to attend this meeting. 


Undergraduate Degrees

In almost all cases, a degree from an Irish University is considered the same as a UK awarded degree. If a degree is highly technical, an employer may seek an assessment of the qualification. It is always useful to have your degree transcript available, and the original degree certificate is required as part of the recruitment process.

Higher Degrees 

Like an undergraduate degree, almost all higher degrees are considered equal to the UK awarded higher degrees. However, professional higher degrees may not be regarded as the same as the UK awarded higher degrees. 

Irish PME Teaching Qualification

Currently, the PME, just like the UK PGCE, does not achieve automatic QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) in the UK. To be awarded QTS the probationary  Early Careers Framework must be completed.  Irish (and all other  EU) Graduates are not eligible to immediately start the Early Careers Framework (formerly the Newly Qualified Teacher programme) induction period in the UK . This is a change to the previous arrangement because the UK is no longer in the EU. The Department For Education is due to issue new guidance on this issue in Spring 2023. We hope that there will be an exception for Irish-trained teachers. 

How we are ensuring Irish Trained Teachers Achieve QTS

To enable Irish-trained teachers to achieve QTS, we work with several key training providers to ensure an Irish-trained teacher is able to achieve a successful ECT outcome and gain QTS at the same time as their UK counterparts. We will achieve this by using the ‘Assessment Only’ route which can take up to 12 weeks, followed by a reduced ECT period (at the Awarding Body’s discretion).

For an Irish-trained teacher at an IAT school, the timeframe would be as follows:



 1st September – 31st  


Review of qualifications, suitability assessment and Assessment Only  provider agreed. 

 1st January -30th April 

 (Easter dates dependent) 

Assessment Only review begins for up to 12 weeks 

 1st May - 31st July 

ECT Induction begins – application made to the relevant awarding body to consider previous two terms as part of the ECT period. 

 1st September – 31st July

 (second year)

ECT Completed

This is the same ECT timeline as UK-trained teachers. 


There is some fluidity to the timescale to ensure the new Irish-trained teachers are fully prepared to undertake the Assessment Only process. Our school-based Professional Tutors will make the assessment of readiness with an external professional from one of our awarding bodies and be supported through the process by their assigned mentor.

Irish-trained teachers will be paid on the Unqualified Teacher scale until the Assessment Only is complete and once this has been achieved QTS is awarded, and the salary moves from the Unqualified Teacher scale to the Teacher main scale at M1, which is £30,000 in September 2023. 

IAT will cover the costs of the Assessment Only route for Irish-trained teachers, which is approximately £4,500.

The Irish Teaching Council 

The Irish Teaching Council have confirmed to us that the Assessment Only process will ensure that an Irish-trained teacher following this route, will have their whole ECT recognised by the Irish Teaching Council as meeting their Irish Probationary Period. An Irish Teacher who completes the UK ECT Induction period, which will have the condition of Droichead removed from their Irish Teacher registration requirements.