Recruitment for School Year 2020/21 during COVID-19

Recruitment for school year 2020/21 during COVID-19

Written on 29 May 2020.

Dear Principal / Chairperson

Recruitment for school year 2020/21 during COVID-19

CCMS have now recommenced online recruitment for priority positions within schools where other interim measures are not feasible.

CCMS are still considering a range of options for Schools and Boards of Governors to consider on an interim basis during this challenging time. CCMS want to give a sense that we shall try to be as flexible as possible in order to allow you to focus on the many other competing issues that you will have to deal with as you prepare for restarting education. The following list of options is not exhaustive and there may be other suggestions that are worth considering:

Acting up arrangements
Review/extension of temporary contracts up to 1 year
Voluntary deferral of retirements
Use of NISTR
Redeployment options
School sharing of teachers

If you and your Governors can identify particular recruitment needs you should discuss these with your HR Adviser, consider whether you wish to advertise the post or consider one of the above options and any others you might suggest to identify the best solution in the context of your own school’s needs. The critical point is that each case will be considered on a school by school basis so that whatever the solution, it is fair to the school, the pupils and teachers.

If you are experiencing any particular difficulty in securing teachers for September you should also discuss these with your HR Adviser as they will be aware of a range of other creative solutions or ideas that can be explored.



CCMS will work with schools to consider the following options, taking into account government restrictions;

Recruitment Panels; panels may be established in line with the requirements of the current Appointments Procedure for teaching posts by reducing all panels to the minimum of 3 members. This will help in adhering to social distancing should a face to face interview be required.

Shortlisting; this can be carried out remotely or in some cases face to face as long as strict social distancing requirements are adhered to, and panels kept to the minimum.

Remote Interviews; if a school wishes to proceed with interviews, it is recommended that where possible they would be carried out remotely via video conference. You can discuss the arrangements for this with your HR adviser.

Schools need to give serious consideration to the IT application they wish to use, in particular its reliability and security. It is important to consider the location of panel members to ensure that they can conduct the interviews confidentially and without interruption. It is also advised to take into account candidates’ access and familiarity with technology and ensure that candidates are not excluded on that basis.

Panels may wish to consider shortlisting to a smaller number of candidates in order to make the process more manageable.

Face to face interviews; holding face to face interviews will be more challenging under the current Government restrictions and should only be considered where it is absolutely necessary. If wishing to proceed with a face a face interview then any government restrictions current at the time of interviews must be adhered to, and consideration given to conducting a risk assessment before proceeding. This assessment should include a review of access to the building, the size of room available, facilities for the candidates, including the waiting room area, to enable adherence to the 2m rule, hand sanitiser, hand shaking, water, etc.

Also, it is advised to give due consideration to candidates who may not be able to attend due to illness/self isolation and panels may need to reconvene as necessary.

Recruitment Documentation

For posts that are being advertised online it is important to ensure that the needs of the post are reviewed, and recruitment documentation ready for submission to CCMS via You can discuss this with your HR Adviser.

If you have not already done so, it would be helpful to our contingency planning if you could let us know as soon as possible if you have specific staffing requirements that need to be addressed for September.

FTE Business Cases

If your Governors have previously committed to an assurance statement on foot of redundancy leading to a payment under the Voluntary Exit Scheme (VES), you may not increase your FTE beyond that which was committed to without the prior approval of the Department. No advertisement or appointment, on a temporary or permanent basis (including through NISTR) can be made until a business case has been approved.

Therefore, if you propose now to increase your school’s approved Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teaching complement, you should discuss this with your HR Adviser at the earliest opportunity so that a Business Case can be prepared and submitted.


In relation to Principal and VP vacancies it will be necessary to discuss options available with the HR Adviser as soon as possible, or as soon as Governors became aware of a potential vacancy. Solutions will be considered on a case by case basis and these will differ depending on the nature of the challenge facing the school.

Any questions in relation to any aspect of recruitment now and going forward, please make contact with your HR Adviser who will be able to assist you.

I attach a link with advice for applicants which is on our website click here

Yours sincerely

Eugene O’Neill


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