A teacher can be seconded to work for a seconding body / organisation only if approval has been granted by the teacher’s Board of Management and by the Department of Education and Science.    

Application should be made to the Department of Education and Science. 

Normally the seconding body will have obtained approval from the Department of Education and Science to make a seconded appointment.

For full details on the secondment of a teacher to another employer see Department circular 0107/2006 below.

Circular 0009/2007 deals with secondment to a European School.


Report of the Teachers’ Arbitration Board

The salary of a seconded teacher is governed by the following Arbitration decision.  At the time of going to print the detailed implementation of this decision is ongoing.Report of the Teachers Arbitration Board in respect of a claim on behalf of teachers on secondment:

1.    The Claim

This claim is brought by the ASTI, INTO and TUI and is that teachers on secondment to implement national initiatives be paid a salary commensurate with the level of responsibility involved and the changes in their working conditions.

2.    History of Claim:

The claim was first presented by the Staff Side at a meeting of the Teachers Conciliation Council on the 2nd of February, 2000.  A sub-committee of the Council was established to consider the claim.  Over the following two years the sub-committee met on a number of occasions.  No agreement was reached by the sub-committee in regard to the substantive dispute; however there was agreement that the matter should be sent to facilitation.

The Chairman of the Council, Mr Tom Pomphrett acted as Facilitator and a facilitation meeting took place on the 5th of February, 2002.  The facilitation was unsuccessful and the matter came back before the Conciliation Council.  A report of the Council dated the 24th of May, 2002 records disagreement in relation to the claim and both sides agreed to refer the matter to arbitration.

An oral hearing took place before the Arbitration Board on the 9th of June, 2003 at which the Board heard submissions and also heard evidence from a number of teachers who are carrying out work on secondment namely Ms Deirdre O’Connor, Mr Tony Collison, Mr Christie Carroll and Mr David Kearney.  Their evidence covered the nature of work on secondment in different areas including the primary and secondary sectors; school development, planning and the work of ICT advisors. 

3.    Arguments on Behalf of the Staff Side:

  1. Over the past decade the Irish education service has been transformed in terms of curriculum and pupil participation.
  2. Adequate training and in-career development is necessary to ensure that this change is delivered in a coherent and successful manner.
  3. Teachers seconded to organise and deliver such in-service training have to be experienced teachers of the highest calibre and to attract such teachers remunerative incentives are needed.
  4. Significant adverse changes in conditions of employment apply to all categories of seconded teachers.  They travel long distances, the length of their working day and working week is significantly extended; weekend/evening work is a regular feature and entitlement to annual leave is significantly less than prior to secondment.
  5. There is no coherent salary structure for teachers on secondment, some trainers receive allowances while others do not, even though they are carrying out precisely the same work.  A coherent structure is needed to remove existing anomalies and to provide incentives for the best teachers to be attracted by positions on secondment.
  6. To this end national directors should be paid on a scale equivalent to that of a senior / divisional inspector; national co-ordinators and ICT advisors should be paid their salary and allowances prior to secondment plus a deputy principal’s allowance equivalent to a sixteen teacher school (€10,491.85) and curriculum trainers should be paid their salary and allowances prior to secondment plus an assistant principal allowance (€6,111.25).
  7. Based on 200 teachers on secondment the cost of the claim is unlikely to be greater than €635,065.00 per annum.

4.    Arguments on Behalf of the Official Side:

The following is a brief summary of the main arguments advanced by the Official Side:

  1. The rate of pay applicable to secondment posts should be related to the requirements and responsibilities of the post rather than the school based pay and conditions of teachers.  
  2. Such an approach would ensure consistency in salary between individual teachers and would have regard to the fact that teachers and non-teachers are employed on the same programme.
  3. The seconded posts should be sub-divided on the basis of a four tier structure rather than a three tier structure.  Sufficient head room should exist between the different levels to reflect differences in duties and responsibilities at each level.  The best arrangement would be by reference to the teachers’ common basic scale and qualifications allowance plus a standard additional allowance to compensate for the responsibilities of the seconded post and any changed conditions that are attached to it.  An appropriate salary cap should also apply to have regard to instances where non-teaching staff are employed.
  4. This position is supported by a study entitled Secondment of Teachers by Dr David Touhy and Dr Anne Lodge which recommended that the salary scale for teachers on secondment be standardised.  It proposed that such teachers should forego their post of responsibility allowances and this should be replaced with an allowance linked to the particular secondment.  This would promote equity in the payment of teachers on the same secondment project and would recognise secondment as a particular career path.
  5. The claim covers in excess of 300 teachers and while the cost is difficult to estimate it is likely to be approximately €1 M per annum.
  6. Given the cost involved any new arrangements could only be implemented in the case of new secondments.  In this regard reliance was placed on the provisions of paragraph 64 of the Revised Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for Teachers.  As this was a cost increasing claim this could only be dealt with within existing resources and therefore should only be applicable to new secondees.

5.    Conclusions and Recommendations:

In reaching the following conclusions and recommendations the Arbitration Board has had regard to all the submissions both written and oral advanced by both sides and to the evidence given by the witnesses.  It is grateful to the advocates and the witnesses for their assistance in this regard.

There would appear to be agreement that national co-ordinators be paid on a scale equivalent to a senior / divisional inspector that is €62,408 - €73,352 as of the first of October 2002 rates.  The main areas of disagreement were

  1. Whether secondment posts should be sub-divided into four categories or into three categories.
  2. Whether the allowance payable in respect of the secondment posts should subsume any post of responsibility allowance or should be in addition to such post of responsibility allowance.
  3. The amount of the allowance which should be payable.
  4. Whether the new pay arrangements should apply to all persons on secondment or to new appointees only.
  5. The date when the new arrangements should take effect.

The Board believes that it is appropriate to have regard to the following matters in considering this issue.  There can be no doubt that the present arrangements in regard to the payment of teachers on secondment are inadequate and throw up many anomalies.  Teachers can be carrying out almost exactly the same work but getting substantially different pay.  One teacher can be in receipt of an allowance while doing certain work while another teacher doing similar work does not receive any allowance.  What is more there would not appear to be any logical basis for the decision to pay an allowance in one case but not in the other.

It is clear therefore that change is needed.  However the Board must be aware of the limitations of its own functions; it is a Board designed to establish appropriate rates of pay rather than deciding how particular services should be delivered.  Insofar as there are policy decisions to be made in regard to the provision of services, such decisions would appear to be matters appropriate to the Department of Education and Science and the Board should be careful in carrying out its functions not to trespass into areas outside its remit.  

The Board believes that what is required is a coherent system of payment for different categories of work which ensures that people who carry out the same work receive the same pay.  It seems to the Board that the achievement of this objective is not consistent with the continued payment of pre-existing allowances for posts of responsibility.  However it would be even more inconsistent with the achievement of this objective that the proposed arrangements would only apply to new appointees and not to teachers who are already carrying out work on secondment.  Further in our view any such restriction of the application of the proposed arrangements would be fundamentally unfair to teachers who have up to new carried out work on secondment.

The Board was impressed by the evidence of the various teachers who appeared as witnesses before it.  Having regard to their evidence the board accepts that teachers on secondment can find themselves carrying out more onerous duties and working longer hours than a teacher working in a school in a normal classroom environment.

Bearing in mind all the circumstances of the claim, and in particular the matters set out above, the Board recommends that the following arrangements should be adopted:

  1. For pay purposes teachers on secondment should be broken down into four categories as proposed by the Official Side.  The Board believes that this system of categories more accurately reflects the work carried out by the various teachers who are on secondment.
  2. Category One – Directors of Major National Programmes (or equivalents):
    The salary scale for this category should be €62,408 - €73,352, as agreed between the parties.
  3. Category Two – Co-ordinators of National Syllabi and Course Support Services,

Regional and Deputy Directors of Major National Programmes, ICT Advisors (or equivalents):

The salary scale for this category should be the teacher’s common basic scale plus honours degree and honours H.Dip allowance plus a standard allowance of €12,459.

  1. Category Three – Assistant National Co-ordinators of National Syllabi (or equivalents):
    The salary scale for this category should be the teacher’s common basic scale plus honours degree and honours H.Dip allowance plus a standard allowance of €9,734.
  2. Category four – Curriculum Trainers / Tutors (or equivalents):
  3. The salary scale for this category should be the teacher’s common basic scale plus honours degree and honours H.Dip allowance plus a standard allowance of €7,500.
  4. The standard allowances payable to categories two, three and four should attract any future increases (including Benchmarking increases() may become payable.  
  5. Having regard to the history of this claim at facilitation and at arbitration, and the provisions of paragraph 64 of the Revised Scheme, the proposed pay arrangements should take effect from the 1st of March, 2002.
  6. The proposed pay arrangements shall apply to all teachers on secondment, whether new or existing appointees.  However existing appointees should be entitled to opt to retain their present pay arrangements until the end of their present period of secondment.

Dated the 7th July, 2003
Signed:    Gerard Durcan, Chairman
Signed:    Derek Hunter
Signed:    Thomas Wall