Who can sub?

Experienced teachers, NQT’s or student teachers or even those planning to train to be a teacher in the future can work as substitute teachers.

Substitute teaching is filling in for a teacher who is absent from school due to illness/appointments/ other reasons.

How to get subbing?


There are a number of different platforms where principals look for substitute teachers. These include:

Teacher Connect (you need to be a member of the INTO)

Sub Seeker (replaces TextaSub – through the IPPN)

Local education centre (some run sublists)

Contact schools directly

Generally, I would advise to go to schools with your application form/CV – however this year with Covid it would be best to email schools in your local area to let them know your availability for subbing.

What to include in your email to principals

A brief letter and CV is usually enough to include in an email.

For the letter

Dear Principals Name,

My name is ____________. I’m a student teacher/fully qualified teacher/ experienced teacher and I’m emailing to let you know my availability for subbing.

2/3 things you have to offer – could be experience in school/working with children/qualification/do you have Droichead/dip completed/ experience with infants/ senior classes/ you live locally etc.

Many thanks,

Your name

Your CV

  • Name/Address/Phone number/Teaching council number
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • CPD

Business card

This is something really simple that I have found useful when subbing in different schools. It’s simply a card (I made them on word – did 6-8 per page and printed on coloured card and laminated).

It needs to include

  • Your name
  • Qualification (if applicable)
  • Phone number

What to bring with you

I’ll go into more detail on what to bring in your subbing bag in a later post – these are just the things you need to show/give to principal to show you can sub/have the necessary Garda vetting etc.

  • Teaching council number (if you have one)

  • PPS number

  • Bank details

  • Garda vetting

  • Statutory Declaration

  • Copy of business card/CV/Letter for subbing (just to have in your bag if you need it)


Pay for subbing is generally from the Department of Education. However, occasionally schools may pay you from Board of Management funds.

Pay from the Department varies depending on your point on the scale/qualified/ unqualified etc.

All days worked as a qualified substitute teacher count towards your point on the scale (which is used to determine panel rights etc. after approx 3 years)

Holiday pay is deducted at the rate of 11%. (Further information is available in Circular 0015/2015)

If you sub as an SNA (even though you are a teacher) you will be paid at the SNA rate.

Entered teaching prior to January 2011

Entered teaching after January 2011

Casual substitute teacher – works 40 days or less during a school year

Non casual substitute teacher – works more than 40 days during the school year

Non casual substitute teachers Рhave their own rate based on their point on the scale + allowances. (To calculate this; Point on the incremental scale + any allowance divided by 183 with a deduction of 11% of this rate to be banked as holiday pay.)

Important to note;

Teachers are paid every fortnight. The most recent payday was 17th September. The next pay day is 1st October 2020.

To be paid on the 1st October – the days you worked need to be inputted into the On-line Claims System (OCLS) by 18th September.

If you sub this week for example you won’t be paid until 15th October.

If you haven’t been paid for days worked – contact the DES to be sure that the days were inputted by the school. If they were then it’s likely the above is the reason for the delay and if they weren’t you’ll need to contact the school to ask them to input the days.

If you are a newly qualified teacher or if you haven’t subbed in Ireland before – there can be a delay of several week (usually 4-8 weeks) before your first pay as it takes time to get you set up on the OCLS system.


5 Day Rule

If you don’t have a teaching council number you can only sub for 5 days in a row – then you must take a day off. (Or you won’t be paid for the day)

Weekends are NOT included.

Example – if you sub Monday – Friday, you cannot work the following Monday.

Statutory Declaration

A statutory declaration is required for teaching in Ireland – especially when working as a substitute teacher. Some schools may not ask for it but some will not let you sub without it so it’s really important to have an up to date copy of the form with you when subbing in schools.

The statutory declaration is available to download on Education Posts.

This must be signed by a solicitor/peace commissioner etc.

It is just an extra document for child protection purposes.

Download here

Follow up email

If you have sent an email to a school in your area but haven’t been called for subbing yet – it’s no harm to send a follow up email to let the school know you’re still available. (This doesn’t need to be sent more than once and to be honest I’d wait until October to send a follow up email if you sent one in September).