Information, polices & stakeholders.

Our Vision, Purpose & Story

Our Vision

“Seamlessly connecting supply teachers and schools to enable targeted, quality education and maximise employment opportunities”

Our Purpose

The Northern Ireland Supply Teacher Register (NISTR) is an online platform, which provides a real-time booking system and a centralised database for all supply teachers in Northern Ireland. It allows schools and other EA service users access to the database to book supply teaching cover for teacher absences. At present NISTR includes details of approximately 7,000 suitably qualified teachers in the live pool.  

The NISTR solution offers a number of great features and benefits to supply teachers, school users, and EA service users:

  • Access to the NISTR solution and your bookings ‘on the go’ via IOS and Android devices in addition to your desktop.​
  • View all bookings in one place in real time via the dashboard feature, which can be customised based on individual needs​.
  • Access to a ‘Short Notice Supply’ feed available for vacancies that require less that 24hr notice to fill​.
  • Set parameters and preferences to tailor supply teacher and school users’ individual requirements.
  • Management of permanent part-time and fixed term contracted teachers through the NISTR solution.
  • Proactive notification system for communications between schools and supply teachers.
  • Intuitive user interface in line with modern apps and technology.
  • Processes that adhere to all school governance and compliance requirements​.
  • Secure storage of personal data allowing users to apply for roles in confidence.​
  • Streamlined sign off process and integration with payroll.

Our Story:

In August 2022, as part of the Education Information Solutions (EdIS) programme a new NISTR solution was launched. The design of the new solution was built in collaboration with teachers, schools and other key stakeholders, with the aim to redefine the user experience and bring enhanced functionality, such as a simplified supply teacher registration and booking system with an interactive, user-friendly interface that can be accessed on a range of devices.

Our Policies and Procedures

The effectiveness of the NISTR services is supported through the implementation of Policies, DE Circulars and Terms of Use documentation.

DE Circular 2006/7

In March 2006 DE issued this Circular to advise employing authorities and schools that only supply teachers registered on NISTR should be employed to work in schools. 

DE Circular 2008/10 Employment of Substitute Teachers

DE issued this Circular to advise that all supply teachers employed by schools must be booked online via the Northern Ireland Supply Teachers Register.

TNC 2016/1 

This document outlines the appropriate use of NISTR - to provide schools with qualified teachers for immediate, unplanned, short-term cover only and for a period no more than 6 months.

Our Partners & Stakeholders

Department of Education

The Department of Education  (DE) is responsible for setting policy, strategy and for the central administration of education and related services in Northern Ireland.  It is responsible and accountable for the quality of education in grant-aided schools, youth organisations and those services offered by early years providers and also for leading the delivery of the Executive’s Children and Young People’s Strategy and its Childcare Strategy. The Department is supported in delivering its functions by a range of Arm's Length Bodies, each of which is accountable to the Department including the two main employing authorities – the EA and the CCMS.  The Department does not appoint or employ teachers however it provides funding to the EA to administer the NISTR system on behalf of the entire education system; ensuring that all schools have access to registered, pre-employment checked, professional supply teaching staff.

Department of Education Teachers' Pay Team is responsible for the administration of salary payment for periods of supply or temporary teaching (e.g. casual engagement or fixed term contracts less than 12 months) which have been approved (signed-off) by schools on the NISTR booking system. Payments are made through the temporary payroll on the 12th working day of each month. Please note, the only exception relates to those teachers working in a Voluntary Grammar school, who are paid directly by the school and not the DE Teachers Pay Team.

Education Authority

The Education Authority  (EA) is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department of Education.  EA is responsible to DE for ensuring that efficient and effective primary and secondary education services are available to meet the needs of children and young people, and for ensuring the provision of efficient and effective youth services.

The NISTR solution is administered by the Northern Ireland Education Authority. The NISTR Administration Team manage the solution and support the service delivery to all end users. For more information on how to get in touch with our Administration Team please visit our Support Page.

Employing Authorities

The Education Authority works in partnership and collaboration with a wide range of Employing Authorities including Comhairle na Gaelscolaiochta (CnaG); Controlled Schools' Support Council  (CSSC); Council for Catholic Maintained Schools  (CCMS); Governing Bodies Association NI  (GBA) and Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE).

The NISTR solution is utilised by schools and services that are employed by authorities such as those listed above.

Last updated: 20/06/2023