From education to employment

League of Ireland footballer following dream to become teacher to help with Irish shortage

A League of Ireland footballer is combining his passion for the sport with his dream of becoming a teacher to support the shortfall in Ireland. 

Brendan Barr moved from Derry to Dublin in January to play for Premier Division side University College Dublin and has also begun on-the-job training as a business studies teacher at a secondary school in the city. 

Brendan has been able to manage playing football around working in a school five days a week thanks to the National Institute of Teaching and Education (NITE), which is part of the Coventry University Group.

Brendan, 22, said: “Being able to stay in Ireland was a massive factor for me when choosing where to study as it enabled me to continue with my football career as well as pursue a career in teaching. With on-the-job training, it means I am in school five days a week but football training is in the evening so I can manage both of them.

“I spoke to some people who had also studied to be a teacher this way and I got great feedback and I’m really enjoying it so far. Business studies was my favourite subject in school, I loved the way my teacher taught me and I’d love to be able to pass that on to other students and inspire them…however they’re always asking me questions about FIFA!”

The teacher shortage in Ireland, which has caused subjects to be removed by schools, has led to the Teachers Union Ireland (TUI) calling for the length of time to become a qualified teacher to be reduced as they say traditional qualifications can be lengthy and expensive to obtain.

NITE’s Postgraduate Certificate in Education with international Qualified Teacher Status (PGCE with iQTS) course allows people to gain invaluable experience within schools over a one-year period if training full-time.   

Professor Geraint Jones, NITE’s founder, Executive Director and Associate-Pro-Vice-Chancellor, said:

“Many schools, especially post-primary, are now relying on unqualified teachers to take some classes. We are responding to this by offering ‘on-the-job’ teacher training, in which unqualified teachers can continue to work in their schools while studying with us online to gain the International Qualified Teacher Status (iQTS) accreditation.

“Our programme is really accessible as teachers can train in a location that is suitable for them. Our trainees are based in their schools for the entire course, which means we can train teachers from all over the world, including in Ireland. Our course lasts for one academic year, which is distinct compared to other postgraduate two-year courses in Ireland. Trainees tell us that it is incredibly helpful that they can earn a salary while they train to teach. The course fee is also highly competitive at currently 9200 Euros, and trainees can start at different times of the year – September, January or April.”

If you would like to find out more about gaining an internationally recognised PGCE with iQTS qualification, and on-the-job teacher training, visit here.

Join the next Webinar to learn about NITE’s school-based training model for all our Teacher Training routes. 

Train to Teach – Republic of Ireland Catch-up

Wednesday 29th November 
5pm (UK time) 
Location: Online 
Cost: Free 

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