FAQs – School Users

Frequently Asked Questions for help and support on all things NISTR for School Users.

NISTR troubleshooting

I am getting an ‘Connection Timed Out’ Message what does this mean?

If you are receiving a ‘Connection Timed Out message’ at various points when using NISTR, this is likely due to issues with the Users internet connectivity and will appear if a request on NISTR takes too long.  It is recommended to refresh the page or try again later. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, please contact the NISTR team for further advice.

NISTR Log in/ Password reset

Please see the steps below that may help you gain access depending on the error message you are receiving.

Password reset– ‘invalid Username or Password error message’

  • Log in to NISTR : https://login.nistr.org.uk/
  • Enter username (email address) and your password.
  • You will see a red pop-up message ‘Invalid username or password’ displayed.
  • Click the ‘Problems logging in?’ link - this will take you to the ‘Account Recovery’ page.
  • Enter your email address* where prompted and click ‘Reset password’.
  • A blue pop-up message saying ‘If your email is registered, you will receive and email with a link to reset your password’ will appear at the top of the screen.
  • Navigate to your email inbox (outlook, hotmail, yahoo etc).
  • Find the email from NISTR and click on the email verification link or copy and paste the link into your web browser (Safari, Edge, Chrome etc.).
  • Set your new password (the password should have a minimum of 8 characters, with at least 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, 1 number, and 1 special character).
  • Click ‘confirm’ - a green pop-up bar will appear at the top of your screen saying ‘Your account settings have been updated’.
  • Navigate back to https://login.nistr.org.uk/ enter your email and new password (click on the eye icon to ensure it's correct) and click the ‘Log in’ button.
  • You will be given access to your NISTR account.

 

Email verification Process - ‘connection time out error message’

  • Log in to NISTR : https://login.nistr.org.uk/
  • Enter username (email address) and your password.
  • You will see a red pop-up message ‘the connection has timed out, you will need to verify your email to activate your login’.
  • Click the ‘problems logging in?’ link, which will take you to the account recovery page
  • Enter your email*, click resend verification email.
  • Receive blue pop up - ‘If your email is registered, you will receive and email with a link to reset your password’.
  • Navigate to your inbox (outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo etc).
  • Click the link in the email from NISTR.
  • This will open a new log in page, you will see a green pop-up message will ‘email verified’.
  • Navigate back to https://login.nistr.org.uk/, enter your email and password (hover over the eye icon to ensure its correct) click log in.
  • You will be provided access to your NISTR account. 

*Please note that the email address used must match exactly and NISTR will not assume that your c2k alias email is the same e.g. if previously registered with @schoolname.ni.sch.uk then you cannot use the @c2kni.net version to login.

Screen resolution issues/ buttons not being displayed

It has been reported that some users are facing issues with screen resolution, and the ability to access certain buttons within NISTR. This is due to your desktop resolution, meaning that some buttons are not visible on the screen, it is recommended that your desktop resolution should be set to 1280 x 1024 for NISTR.

The zoom of the web browser may also help.

News Feed Not displaying

The NISTR Newsfeed section is currently not displaying items on the NISTR Dashboard.  It is expected that this functionality will be available in the near future and we will communicate updates closer to the time.

Mobile phone screen rendering/functionality issues

If you are experiencing screen rendering issues i.e., the screen does not display correctly when accessing the system via mobile phone, please log out of NISTR and log back in again to see if this is corrected. 

Another option is to refresh your screen.  If issues persist, it is recommended to move to a desktop version of NISTR and report the issue (including details of the mobile device you are using) to the NISTR Administration Team. 

Please be aware that NISTR mobile is only accessible using Edge, Chrome, and Safari mobile web browsers.  These can be downloaded from the relevant App/Play Store on your phone. Please ensure your mobile operating system has been updated to the latest version available.

What is ReachDeck? What does this new icon mean ?

The EA Website (which hosts the NISTR Website) has incorporated ReachDeck - a web accessibility tool allowing you to customise the website in the way that works best for you, with the aim to reduce barriers experienced by people with disabilities.

If you wish to use the ReachDeck feature, please click the logo at the top of the page which looks like this:

reachdeck icon

For more information on ReachDeck please visit the EA Page: Accessibility | Education Authority Northern Ireland (eani.org.uk)

Logging into NISTR

How do I register my school with NISTR?

All Schools within Northern Ireland are automatically registered with NISTR. Schools that are not registered with NISTR, e.g., new schools, should contact the NISTR Administrative team for more information on how to avail of the service. 

How do I access the new NISTR solution?

Your registered login email address would have been sent an email with a link to help you get logged into NISTR back in August 2022.  If you did not receive this email, it’s not working, or have lost it since, please follow the instructions on how to reset your password and validate your email address.

Review Migrated Bookings

Bookings made on the previous NISTR system before 3rd August, will migrate to the new solution and will be available to view on your dashboard. Your bookings will display the number of bookings that are: 

  • To be signed off 
  • Active bookings 
  • Unconfirmed 

Please take care to review the migrated information to confirm accuracy. If you are concerned about the migrated information displayed, please contact the NISTR team by submitting a contact form on the NISTR website 

Further information on managing bookings can be viewed in the Managing Bookings Quick Reference Guide 

Adding Additional Users

There are three types of school users: 

  1. PRIMARY: Manage users, book, and sign off 
  2. SCHOOL LEVEL 1: Book and sign off  
  3. SCHOOL LEVEL 2: Book only 

School user accounts are created and managed by the Primary User. There can only be one active Primary User per school at one time. A school can have a maximum of 12 users, including the Primary User. Please identify key users in your school and add them to your account if required.  

If you do not have a Primary level user then we would recommend that the principal of the school contacts the NISTR Administration Team to inform them of the name and email address of the Primary user – who will then be able to add additional level 1/level 2 users at their own discretion.

Further information on managing users can be viewed in the Managing School Users Quick Reference Guide.

I did not receive an email on the 29th August to login? How do I gain access?

If you did not receive a login email at 9am on the 29th of August from NISTR advising you to reset your password, or it doesn’t work, or it is lost, then please complete the following steps to gain access to the system:

  • Navigate to the NISTR webpage: https://login.nistr.org.uk/.
  • Click the ‘Problems logging in?’ link - this will take you to the ‘Account Recovery’ page.
  • Enter your email address* where prompted and click ‘Reset password’.
  • A blue pop-up message saying ‘If your email is registered, you will receive and email with a link to reset your password’ will appear at the top of the screen.
  • Navigate to your email inbox (outlook, hotmail, yahoo etc.).
  • Find the email from NISTR and click on the email verification link or copy and paste the link into your web browser (Safari, Edge, Chrome etc.).
  • Set your new password (the password should have a minimum of 8 characters, with at least 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, 1 number, and 1 special character).
  • Click ‘confirm’ - a green pop-up bar will appear at the top of your screen saying ‘Your account settings have been updated’.
  • Navigate back to https://login.nistr.org.uk/ enter your email and new password (click on the eye icon to ensure it's correct) and click the ‘Log in’ button.
  • You will be given access to your NISTR account.

*Please note that the email address used must match exactly and NISTR will not assume that your c2k alias email is the same e.g. if previously registered with @schoolname.ni.sch.uk then you cannot use the @c2kni.net version to login.

If the above process does not work and you are still unable to gain access, we would suggest that you try completing the same steps above but with your school’s generic [email protected] as there is a chance this email was used as the login email/username, not the individual school user's.

If you are still unable to gain access, we would ask that the school’s principal contact the NISTR Administrative Team, confirming the member of staff they wish to assume the Primary level user role for their school.

How do I log into NISTR post go live?

You can access NISTR here. Access can also be gained by visiting our NISTR website welcome page www.nistr.org.uk and clicking on the ‘Log in here’ button. A log in page will be displayed, please enter your Username (email address) and password to access NISTR.

For information on how to save/book mark this link to your favourites for easy access, please see the Device Management Quick Reference Guide and FAQs.

Note: We are aware some users are experiencing log in / password issues. Please refer to the FAQ : “NISTR Log in/ Password Issues”, in the Known Issues and workarounds section. And the FAQ: “I did not receive an email on the 29th August to login? How do I gain access?” in the Logging into NISTR section.

I have forgotten my password, what should I do?

If you have forgotten your password, you will be required to re-set your password. Please complete the steps below to reset your password:

1) Navigate to the NISTR ‘login’ screen.

2) Click the link ‘Problems logging in’ button.

3) Input the email address linked to your account and select reset password.

4) Check your emails and follow the password reset instructions.

Please note: the verification email for your new password will be sent to the email address you previously used to register with NISTR.

I have I forgotten my username, what should I do?

Your NISTR username is your registered email address, if you have forgotten your registered email address please contact the NISTR Administrative team.

I do not have access to the email address linked to my account, what should I do?

If you no longer have access to your email account that you registered with NISTR and you are unable to reset your password or receive notifications, you will need to contact the NISTR Administrative team.

How do I change my Username/Email address?

Once you log into your school user profile, you can amend your email address/username within the ‘account settings’ screen.

Alternatively, if you are the primary user and you need to amend the email address of another school user, you can do so within the ‘Manage School Users’ screen within the ‘School User’ menu.

How do I change my password?

You can update your password in the Account Settings section within your NISTR profile.

What is a Progressive Web Application (PWA)?

NISTR can be accessed via a Progressive Web Application (PWA) link, that will take the User to a log in page. PWAs look and feel like a "normal" app that you would download to your phone or tablet, but they are accessed through your browser (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge). When you click on the link (PWA) the NISTR solution will adapt to any device (iPad/ iPhone, Galaxy tablet etc) you are accessing it from.

NISTR cannot be ‘downloaded’ as you would do for other device applications (apps). You can add the PWA link to your device home screen or save it to your internet favourites for easy access – see the Device Bookmarking Quick Reference Guide.

What devices are compatible with NISTR?

Please see below a list of compatible devices through which the new NISTR:

  • Apple devices (iOS) – iPad, iPhone, Mac 
  • Android devices - Samsung, Google, Huawei etc. 
  • Desktop devices (Windows) 

I am having difficulties logging in to NISTR on my device, what should I do?

  • Please ensure that your device is operating on the latest 2 software updates.
  • Please ensure you are connected to Wi-fi.
  • Please use Edge, Chrome or Safari to access NISTR.

Note: Huawei Internet Browser does not support NISTR

If you are still having difficulties, and have consulted all the FAQs, please complete a NISTR Contact form.

 

Account & User Management

How do I log out of NISTR?

If you are logged into NISTR on a desktop PC, the log out button can be found by clicking your Username in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

If you are logged into NISTR on a mobile device, select the menu button on the top left of your screen and the log out button can be found at the bottom of the menu.

How do I remove my account?

The school’s primary user can de-activate school user accounts. The primary user can also select an alternative school user to become the primary user in their place, once this is submitted, their primary user rights will be removed.

How many different types of NISTR School users are there?

NISTR has 3 different types of School user profiles.

  • Primary Users - Can manage school users (e.g add or remove users), create, and sign off bookings (typically a principal or Manager role).
  • Level 1 Users - Can create and sign off bookings.
  • Level 2 Users - Can create bookings.

Each school can have 12 Users, with 1 primary User and 11 other Level 1 or level 2 Users.

I am a primary user, how do I add a new level 1/level 2 user?

Please see Managing School Users Quick Reference Guide for more information on how to create a level 1/level 2 user.

How do I know what type of user I am in the system?

At present, the system does not have a specific section where you can find out your user type. NISTR are looking to provide this feature in the future. However, users can infer their user type by checking to see if they can complete certain actions in the system:

 

Primary

Level

Level 1

Level 2

Potential test to find out the assigned level of a user

User Management – can add/edit additional L1/L2 users.

Yes

No

No

Only a Primary user’s dashboard menu will include a ‘User Management’ Section. 

 

All levels can see the ‘User Management’ widget on the dashboard but only the Primary can click on it to go to the ‘User Management ‘screen.

Holiday Calendar – can add/edit holidays.

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Create a Booking – can create a booking and make offers.

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Signing off Bookings – can sign off part or all of a booking

Yes

Yes

No

A Level 2 user will not be able to access any booking sign-off functionality as any appropriate buttons/options will be inactive/greyed out.

We apologise for this inconvenience and are working with the developers to refine the system functionality.

How do I find out who is my Primary user in my school?

At present, the system does not have a specific section where you can find out the names of the other NISTR school users (we are looking to provide this feature in the future). A potential workaround to find out the Primary User would be to infer user type by checking to see if they can complete certain actions in the system, please see FAQ “ How do I know what type of User I am in the system?” for how this could be done.

If you are unable to infer the user types, please contact the NISTR Administration team to find out who the Primary User is for your school.

We apologise for this inconvenience and are working with the developers to refine the system functionality.

Can I change my current User type?

Only a Primary user is the only user able to change/ manage users in NISTR.

My Primary/ Level 1 user is unavailable, how do I change the Primary user?

If you are unable to contact your Primary user (e.g Principal has retired, User is sick etc) to change the NISTR users within your school, please contact the NISTR Admin team who can update the users on the principal’s behalf.

Booking process queries (including creating, amending, and cancelling a booking)

How do I create a booking?

Please see the Managing bookings Quick Reference Guide for more information on how to create a booking. All user types (Primary, level 1 and level 2) can create bookings in NISTR.

How do I create a booking for specific hours (e.g 4.5 hours for a nursery booking)?

Within ‘create a booking’ you can create either a full day or half day booking. The system will automatically set to a full day for each day of your booking. If you wish to update this to a half day, you should select the correct date from the calendar, this will bring you up a menu to change the booking to either an AM or PM booking.

The specific ‘Hours worked’ times will be specified at the sign-in stage.

How do I create a block booking for non-consecutive days (e.g I require a teacher every Tuesday and Thursday for 6 weeks)?

Currently, NISTR will start a booking on the assumption that every day between a start date and an end date will be required, and that each day will require the supply teacher to be available ALL DAY.  It is, therefore, the responsibility of the school user to REMOVE any unnecessary day(s) and/or change ALL DAY to AM/PM hours before submitting the booking to search for the best-fit supply teacher. 

However, if school users need to book a supply teacher to work a pattern of non-consecutive days over a certain period of time, we suggest two possible workarounds:

  1. Manually editing each day in the calendar at ‘Create a booking’ stage

After the school user sets the start date and end date of the booking, they will then use the booking calendar to click on each individual day to edit the hours required, or remove the day entirely by clicking on the ‘Not Required ‘option.

For example:

  • A teacher is required every Tuesday and Thursday for a total of 6 weeks between the dates of 02/01/2023 -  10/02/2023.
  • The school user navigates to the ‘Create a booking’ widget, enters the relevant Key Stage(s), core subject(s), and radius.
  • The school user must enter the ‘from date’ as 02/01/2023 and ‘to date’ as 10/02/2023. Upon entry, the booking calendar will populate each weekday with a default, ALL DAY pink dot, to indicate the teacher is required for the FULL day.
  • As Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are not required in this example, the school user must go to the booking calendar and click on each individual Monday and select ‘NOT REQUIRED’ when the edit ‘Working Hours’ pop-up box comes up. The user must then repeat this for each Wednesday and Friday session across the entire booking period that the teacher is not required.
  • If there are any remaining days that need to be changed from ALL DAY to either AM (blue dot) or PM (green dot) hours, the school user can also click on each relevant day and use the ‘Working Hours’ pop-up box to amend this accordingly.
  • The user must take time to ensure that the booking calendar is accurate and click on the ‘Search’ button when complete.
  1. Creating separate bookings for each required day per week

This method is only recommended if the booking is for fewer days over a period of time e.g. 1 day per week for 3 weeks.  The school user can choose to create a series of e.g. 3 separate bookings, each for the 1 specified day per week.

This method is also recommended for any block bookings that may require a different codes for different days/hours: separate each booking out so they are only assigned to one specific signing-off code.

Please see the Managing bookings Quick Reference Guide for more information on how to create a booking. All user types (Primary, Level 1 and Level 2) can create bookings in NISTR.

I want to book a specific teacher; can I search their name within NISTR?

Once you have created a booking based on your required search criteria, the system will return a list of suitable teachers matching your criteria.

As of a new system release in September, school users are now able to search the name or a TR Number of a Supply Teacher as long as they are found within the returned results of a booking search.

Please navigate to the search bar that states: TR Number, Name, Surname, and click the small blue magnifying glass symbol. This will filter the list and return the name of the required Teacher.

Screenshot of how to search by name

REMINDER: The teacher search results will only be returned if the teacher is LIVE, and has correctly set their Availability, Core subject, Key stage & My Schools List (to align with the booking requirements).  Please refer to the FAQ : I want to book a specific teacher, but I cannot find them on NISTR, why is this?” below, for more information on why you may not be able to book the specific teacher.

The NISTR solution (and specifically the booking functionality) has been designed and built to ensure ALL Supply Teachers are provided with an equal and fair chance to obtain Supply Teacher opportunities across Northern Ireland.  If you are unable to find the specific teacher you are looking for, we would encourage schools explore alternative teachers that match your booking requirements (as provided in the initial search results), as this creates opportunities to all NISTR-registered teachers.

I want to book a specific teacher, but I cannot find them on NISTR, why is this?

Please be aware that a teacher that is not found on NISTR could be because they have not yet met the compliance regulations to be able to work in schools in Northern Ireland.

There are several reasons a school may not be able to locate a Supply Teacher on NISTR. For a school to ‘locate’ a Supply Teacher, they must first create a booking.

Reasons why a teacher may not be found:

  • The Supply Teacher may not be registered.
  • The Supply Teacher may be in the process of registration and may not be ‘LIVE’ yet (i.e., they are awaiting their GTCNI, AccessNI or Health checks).
  • They are unavailable as they have been booked by another school.
  • The teacher may not have their subject and key stages list updated to match the criteria of your required booking.
  • The Supply Teachers availability is not updated to reflect ‘available’ at the time of the booking and therefore not included in the search results.
  • The booking does not fall within the Supply Teacher school parameters (e.g., distance willing to travel, School type etc) and therefore not included in the search results.

If you need to book a specific teacher (e.g., when setting up a fixed term contract booking) the Supply Teacher must ensure that their parameters/ preferences and availability are in line with the school booking details to be included in the search results. Once these have been updated, the school can refresh their search results list.

Where do I go to view all my bookings?

Please navigate to the ‘bookings widget’ on your dashboard and click on ‘view’ where you will be able to see all your bookings currently in NISTR. You can also access bookings from August 2022 by clicking on the NISTR menu icon and going to ‘MANAGE BOOKINGS’.  Please be aware that ‘HISTORICAL BOOKINGS’ will only populate with bookings pre- 31st July 2022.

Please see the Managing bookings Quick Reference Guide for more information on managing your bookings.

How do I amend a booking?

Please see the Managing Bookings Quick Reference Guide for more information on how to amend a booking.

Can I omit certain Supply Teachers from search results in NISTR (e.g remove them from any booking search result lists)?

No, all supply teachers that have been identified as a suitable match to the booking request will be presented within the search options. There is the use of a ‘star’ symbol bookmark that schools can use at their own discretion.

Can I mark certain teachers as my favourites?

Once you have created a booking and been provided with the returned search results, you will be able to mark teachers by clicking the ‘star’ beside the teacher’s name. The Teacher will still appear in future search results. 

Can I search for Teachers by name alphabetically?

Yes, once you have created a booking based on your required search criteria, the system will return a list of suitable teachers matching your criteria. School Users/ EA Service users can use the name sorting functionality to list the supply Teachers by name.

How do I book a ‘General’ Supply Teacher (i.e not specifically related to one subject)?

When you are creating a booking, you will be given the option to select the following:

  • Nursery (Nursery KS)
  • Foundation (Foundation KS)
  • Primary/General (KS1 and KS2)
  • General Cover (KS3+) within the core subject drop down menu.

I have offered a teacher a booking, but not received a reply, what should I do?

When a booking has been offered to a supply teacher but not confirmed, the school is able to cancel the booking and offer to another teacher on their search list.  It is recommended that the School User contact the Teacher (via their contact details supplied on their profile) to confirm if they are available prior to cancelling.

The recent functionality upgrade has enabled Supply Teachers to now decline an ‘offered’ booking and provide a reason for declining to the school.

Schools may then recreate the booking within the NISTR solution to offer the position to another suitable teacher.

Please see the Managing Bookings Quick reference guide for more information on cancelling a booking.

Note: Bookings at an ‘offered’ status will remain in the system until a Teacher ‘accepts’ or a School user/ EA Service user ‘cancels’ the booking. Please cancel any bookings that were not worked by the teacher or are not intended to be worked by the teacher to ensure good housekeeping of the system.

We would also encourage dialogue between the school and teachers to speed up having bookings accepted, if required.   Teacher contact details are available on NISTR and will be viewable in the details of the offered booking.

I need to cancel a booking last minute; how do I communicate this to a Supply Teacher through NISTR?

All level users can cancel a booking. When a school cancels a booking within the solution this is called ‘withdrawal’. If a school needs to withdraw from a booking, this would be processed within the solution and a text message/ email notification would be sent to the Supply Teacher (depending on their communications preferences). As a professional courtesy, schools are encouraged to call the teacher in advance of cancelling the booking.  

Please see the Managing booking Quick reference guide for more information on cancelling a booking.

A Supply Teacher has informed me that they are unable to attend a booking in the future due to changes in personal circumstance, what is the process for cancelling/ amending this booking?

The Supply Teacher is required to contact the school directly to inform them that they are not available to work as soon as possible. The Supply Teacher will be required to send a cancellation request to the school within the NISTR system, which the school can accept. This will cancel the booking. As a professional courtesy, teachers are encouraged to call the school prior to sending the cancellation request. 

Once this booking has been cancelled, you should create a brand new booking, including all of the required criteria and carry out a new search on NISTR.

A Supply Teacher has informed me that are sick and unable to attend their booking on the same day, what is the process for cancelling/ amending this booking?

The Supply Teacher is required to contact the school directly to inform them that they are not available to work as soon as possible. The Supply Teacher will be required to send a cancellation request to the school within the NISTR solution, which the school can accept. This will cancel the booking. As a professional courtesy, teachers are encouraged to call the school in advance of submitting their cancellation request. 

If the booking has been cancelled within 24hours of the booking, it is suggested that the school utilise the Short Notice Supply feed to avail of a replacement teacher.

Am I able to add a Supply Teacher booking in retrospectively (once a date has already passed)?

No, the NISTR solution will not allow for retrospective bookings to be made. This is to prevent differences between a Supply Teacher’s recorded availability on the system and their actual availability, which causes multiple problems with the Supply Teacher booking process.

Schools will have until 11.59pm that same day to finalise the booking details and to process the booking.

Why can’t I carry out retrospective booking in the new system?

The integrity of NISTR relies on up-to-date, accurate data.  It is therefore critically important that bookings are input in advance and not retrospectively.  The on-system booking creation should be the first step in sourcing and contacting a teacher to seek cover.  This ensures: 

  • compliance with TNC Circular 2016/01 and specifically reduces risk to schools by providing assurance that the teacher has complied with all pre-employment checks; and 
  • avoidance of unnecessary workload contacting teachers who have already been engaged by another school 

It is vital the booking is created immediately and not later than 23:59 on the first day of engagement, at which point, the school will no longer be able to input the booking.  

Retrospective booking requests will only be accepted by the NISTR Administration team in the most exceptional circumstances

Once a Retrospective booking has been added to NISTR, an automatic notification will be sent to the school user that requested the booking (Primary & Level 1 users) to confirm this has been added. The notification will provide the name, and TR number of the teacher and the booking start and end date. It is imperative that any retrospective booking is reviewed and amended as necessary.

If you require additional guidance in making a booking, please see our quick reference guide here: Managing Bookings Quick Reference guide  

If you are trying to locate a specific teacher in NISTR and are unable to do so, please view this bitesize guide: Creating a booking: How the Supply Teacher & School NISTR platform work together (office.com) 

If you are experiencing problems entering advance bookings, please contact the NISTR Helpdesk on 028 9056 6256, where a member of staff will talk you through the booking processPhonelines are open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Signing off Bookings

How and when can a booking be signed off?

A booking can only be ‘signed off’ once it has been through the following steps:

  1. ‘Offered’ to the teacher in NISTR
  2. Accepted by the teacher in NISTR– resulting in a ‘confirmed’ status
  3. Worked by the teacher.

Bookings can now be signed off on the day of the booking or anytime thereafter up until the DE payroll deadline. No future dates can be signed off.

The Primary User and Level 1 User are the only types of users that can sign off bookings in NISTR.

  • Bookings can be signed off as soon as the work has been completed by the teacher on the day or anytime thereafter.
  • Primary User and Level 1 Users can sign off, cancel, extend or amend individual days within the overall booking at any point during the month, removing the need to wait to sign off bookings at the end of the month and saving time.
  • If the booking has been completed, the status of the booking will move to ‘to be signed off’ from the last working day of the month. This status will persist until all days within the given month have been signed off.
    • If the booking spans into next month, the overall status will change to ‘'confirmed'' upon completing the above action
    • If the booking ends within the same month, overall status will change to ‘'signed off’' upon completing the above action
  • Sign off notifications/ prompts are sent via the system to remind users to sign off bookings from the last working day of the month. Please select the ‘go to sign off’ link within the notification to directly access the booking to be signed off.
  • Users can review and audit their previously signed off bookings, to understand when, who, and what has been signed off; to provide greater clarity and understanding of signed off bookings

Important to note: A user will only be able to sign off individual booking days up to the present date. Future booking days cannot be signed off.

If a user amends a previously signed off booking day, it will no longer be considered signed off and must be signed off again by the user after any amendments are made.

The Sign Off button shall not be active until the user has selected at least one individual booking day. Where a user attempts to click the Sign Off button to sign off a booking without selecting any individual booking days, the user will receive a pop-up notification with the following text “Please select at least one booking day to sign off.”

Please see the Managing bookings Quick Reference Guide for more information on how to sign off bookings.

What do all the Booking statuses mean?

An ‘Offered’ booking status is where a Supply Teacher booking has been offered to a teacher, however the booking has not yet been accepted by the teacher in NISTR.  Note: there is currently no option to ‘reject’ a offered booking within NISTR. If the booking is not required, the school must withdraw this booking from the system.

A ‘Confirmed’ booking status is where an offered booking has been accepted by a Supply Teacher. It indicates that not ALL the individual days within the booking are signed off (this includes bookings that span over more than one Payroll month)

A ‘Cancelled’ booking status is where all the booking has been cancelled by the teacher (and the school has accepted the teachers cancelation request).

A ‘Cancelation Requested’ Status is where a teacher has requested to cancel the entire booking. The booking will remain as confirmed until the school agrees to cancel.

A ‘Withdrawn’ status identifies any booking which has been cancelled by a school.

A ‘Declined’ status identifies any booking which has been declined by a teacher.

A ‘To be signed off’ booking status indicates that a booking has been fully completed by the supply teacher and is now ready to be signed off by a school user for that specific payroll period.

Users will be reminded by NISTR when the next sign-off deadline is approaching through notifications (up to 3 days before) - if the deadline is breached, users will not be able to use other functionality of NISTR until completed. 

A ‘Signed Off’ booking status is where all days within the booking have been worked by the teacher and signed off in the current month.

An ‘Exported to Payroll’ Status is where the payroll file containing that booking has been sent to the Department of Education Teachers Pay and Pensions Team for processing.  No changes can be made by NISTR once the booking has been passed to DE.

I need to amend a previously signed off booking, how do I do this?

A Primary and level 1 Users will be able to re-open and amend, extend or cancel previously signed-off booking days, provided that these booking days have not been exported to the payroll file. Changes can be made to bookings right up until the last working day of the month at 5pm. Primary and level 1 Users should navigate to the booking sign off page, and select the relevant filters to view their signed off bookings.  

Please see the Managing bookings Quick Reference Guide for more information on how to sign off bookings. 

Why am I receiving notifications to sign off bookings?

School Users and EA Service Users will be sent gentle notification that they have bookings to sign off on the first and third day of the sign-off window.  This reminder process acts as an important step to ensure teachers are paid for the work completed. 

  • On the last working day of the current month to the third working day of the following month, School User/EA Services User will receive one notification upon first login for that day, to remind them that they have outstanding bookings to be signed off.
  • Once this notification is dismissed the user will be able to continue using NISTR as normal for those days.
  • On the fourth working day of the following month, the School User/EA Services User will receive another notification upon first login that will inform the school/service that the deadline for booking sign-offs has now been breached – these bookings will not make it to the payroll file and will result in the supply teacher not being paid in time.
  • Acknowledgement of that notification will take the user to the booking summary page displaying all bookings to be signed off for that payroll period.  However, if the user attempts to navigate to any other part of the system, the notification shall reappear and acknowledgement of it shall redirect the user back to the booking sign off summary page.

What is the ‘Hours worked’ Feature?

The ‘Hours Worked’ features provides Primary and Level 1 Users with the ability to amend the time a Supply Teacher has worked at the sign off stage (i.e they have not worked the full day due to sickness, and emergency etc).

  • The maximum number of hours that charged per day is 6.48. Any hours input that exceed this will not be paid by the Department of Education.
  • Hours worked must be used for all days in the booking, and it is not possible to have a mixture of days worked and hours worked.
  • Minutes must be entered as a portion of an hour, for example, if a supply teacher worked 3 hours and 30 minutes, then enter 3.5 in the text box on the relevant booking day.

Note: when the ‘Hours Worked’ Feature is selected the user will see a pop up to confirm that this is correct course of action to be taken. (See below)

hours worked image

Please see the Managing bookings Quick Reference Guide for more information on signing off bookings and the Hours Worked feature.

Can I sign off a booking at the end of each week/ once they have occurred?

Yes, you can sign off a booking as soon as the work has been completed by the Teacher on the day or anytime thereafter.

Can I review my past bookings, that I have previously signed off?

Yes, when each individual booking day is signed off, the school user will be able to see the date and time that the day was signed off, who it was signed off by, and the current status of the booking on the booking details screen. When each individual booking day is exported to the payroll file, the user will be able to see the date the booking day was exported to the payroll file.

School users can now use the export functions to continue further booking analysis outside of NISTR.

What are ‘Reasons for cover?’

When signing off a booking, Primary and level 1 users are required to provide a suitable cover code for payroll processing purposes for that booking.

Users will only see the ‘Reason for Cover’ codes that are relevant to their school.

Where previously a user would have selected from “Reason for cover” dropdown, Board Codes, CCEA Codes, Centre Codes, GMI School Codes, School Codes and Unknown (six items) before selecting a Reason for Cover code, a user will now select from a dropdown of Board/School and CCEA (two items) before selecting a Reason for Cover code.

Other booking queries (contacting a teacher, booking history, types of contracts etc)

Can School Users accept the booking on behalf of the Supply Teacher?

No, Schools cannot accept the booking on behalf of the Supply Teacher.

Is there an option to search for teachers with Special Educational Needs experience in NISTR?

When a school begins to create a booking and generates an initial list of search results for teachers, the User will be able to filter this list to only show teachers who are (i) willing to work in Special Educational Needs settings and (ii) have experience of working in these settings. Additionally, the school will be able to choose what type of SEN experience they require such as MLD, PMLD, Hearing Impaired etc.

School users/ EA Service Users are able to view and individual Supply Teacher’s educational settings that they are both willing to work in and have experience working in – this includes the ability to filter down to specific SEN willingness to work and/or experience.

How do I contact a Supply Teacher?

Supply Teacher contact details can be accessed through the NISTR system only once a School has created a booking and been supplied with ‘search results. Supply Teachers have provided schools with their preferred method of contact and best time to contact them in their teacher profile.

What do I do if I have verbally agreed for a Supply Teacher to work at my school?

All supply teacher bookings should be created and offered within NISTR at the point of verbal agreement with the teacher (if such agreement has been made). This is to ensure that the availability status of all teachers is accurate and up to date. All bookings should be signed off within NISTR, on the last working day of the month or by 5pm on the 3rd working day of the following month at the latest.  

School Users cannot create retrospective bookings and add bookings into NISTR once the booking date has passed. To create retrospective bookings, you will need to contact the NISTR Administration team

Can I see a history of all my previous bookings? Can I export a report?

You can access all historical bookings within the ‘Manage Bookings’ section of the NISTR menu.

An ‘Export’ button can be found on the top right of the ‘Bookings Overview’ for Users to export various reports to Excel and manipulate/ store as required.

What is the booking creation process for maternity cover (e.g., long term contract)?

The School User should set up the maternity booking within NISTR. When the school is creating a long-term booking in the system such as for Maternity cover, the school user will not have the option of inputting the reason for cover at the point of ‘creating the booking’. However, when the booking is signed off each month the school will need to ensure that ‘Maternity’ is included as the reason for cover and the name of the permanent teacher that it is covering.

How far in advance during the academic year can schools book a Supply Teacher in NISTR?

There are no restrictions on how far in advance bookings are made in NISTR.

Payroll queries

How is a Supply Teacher paid?

Pease see the following steps for how a Supply Teacher is paid*: 

  1. School user creates a booking in NISTR 
  2. Booking is accepted by a supply teacher (status moves to confirmed in the system) 
  3. Supply teacher works the booking 
  4. School user signs off worked days before the next Department of Education (DE) payroll cut off date.  The cut off date is the 3rd working day of the next month.
  5. Payment for all approved periods of substitute teaching is made on a monthly basis by DE Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team (TPPT).  Days signed off in time are paid on the 12th working day of the month following the days worked. 

*Note a teacher is paid by the Department of Education. The Teacher must complete a TR25 form which can be obtained from the Department of Education Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team to receive payment into their bank.

Bank Details

As part of a teacher’s professional registration with the GTCNI, The Department of Education (DE) will receive a request for the creation of a TR number.  This will instigate DE action to email the relevant teachers requesting submission of a TR25 form providing bank details to [email protected] .  Forms should be completed and returned without delay and prior to commencing work.  If bank details are not held then salary cannot be processed.  Individuals returning to teaching or returning to Northern Ireland, should also ensure that the Payroll Team hold up-to-date bank details by requesting and submitting a TR25 form.  Teachers moving from post to post (or from contracted employment to NISTR) do not need to resubmit a TR25 unless their bank details have changed. For more information on the TR25 form please see the DE website: TR25 Form – Teachers’ Personal and Bank Details

What is the difference between a permanent payroll and Temporary payroll?

The main Teachers’ Payroll System is administered by the Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team (TPPT) within the Department of Education (DE) on behalf of, and under instruction from, all grant-aided schools with the exception of Voluntary Grammar Schools.  There are two separate payrolls which run at different times of the month, the need for which is driven by legislation around teachers’ pay.

‘Permanent’ Payroll

Permanent teachers and teachers on fixed-term contracts of 12 months or more are paid through the ‘permanent’ payroll on the last working day of the month at a daily rate equivalent to 1/365 (pro-rated for part-time staff) and are paid throughout the year including holiday periods i.e. teachers receive 1/12th of their annual salary each month throughout the entire year.

Temporary’ Payroll

Teachers engaged through NISTR on a non-contractual basis or booked through NISTR as a payment mechanism for engagement on a fixed-term contract of less than 12 months are paid through the ‘temporary’ payroll on the 12th working day of the month.  Payment is for individual days worked at a daily rate of 1/195 of annual salary which includes for holiday pay.

The NISTR system is the data source for the temporary payroll.  A file of approved bookings is transferred to DE on the 3rd working day of the month.  The sign-off of a booking by the school as the employer provides the approval and the instruction to pay.  If a teacher has not accepted the booking on NISTR, the school cannot sign-off.  If a school has not signed-off a booking, it will not be transferred in the file for payment and will not be processed until after sign-off as part of the next payroll run.

Voluntary Grammar School Payrolls

Voluntary Grammar Schools administer their own payrolls and therefore salary payment for NISTR bookings (at a daily rate of 1/195 of personal pay point) will be paid to the teacher directly by the school.  However, it is vital that the bookings are offered, accepted and signed-off on NISTR to ensure that accurate service details are available to the NI Teachers’ Pension Scheme and to ensure that teacher availability on the system is accurate.

I have signed off a Teacher’s booking incorrectly, how do I change this?

Any amendments required to Supply Teacher bookings (e.g change in working hours, dates etc) that have been signed off and processed to Payroll (i.e. Passed the Payroll deadline) must be discussed with Department of Education (DE) Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team. NISTR are unable to make any changes to the signed off booking once the payroll file has been exported and processed by DE.

Please see details below on how to contact DE Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team (TPPT)

DE Teachers Pay & Pension Team (TPPT)  

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 02871 319000 

What is a TR23/ TR25 form?

Payment for all approved periods of substitute teaching are made on a monthly basis by DE Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team. 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.

Prior to the 1 May 2022, in order to have substitute teaching days paid, schools/teachers would have been required to submit a TR23 form for approval to their appropriate employing authority or school for onward submission to DE Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team.  This process has now changed.

As of 1 May 2022, all newly registered GTCNI teachers will be contacted directly by the DE Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team and will be requested to complete and return a TR25 form.

The purpose of the TR25 form will be to obtain all of the required personal information from the teacher directly in order for DE Teachers’ Pay and Pensions Team to be prepared for payment should the teacher get booked via NISTR for substitute cover days. For more information on the TR25 form please see the DE website: TR25 Form – Teachers’ Personal and Bank Details

For full details on the new process and useful contact details, please read the new guidance for Principals, Line Managers and Teachers for engaging substitute teachers via NISTR.

DE Teachers Pay & Pension Team (TPPT)

Email: [email protected] .

Phone: 02871 319000

What is the pay date each month for supply teachers?

The Payroll deadline (whereby all bookings must be ‘signed off; in NISTR is the 3rd working day of the next month). The pay date for Supply Teacher’s is the 12th working day of each month.

Fixed-term Contracts

How do I set up a fixed term booking in NISTR?

The school will need to set up a long-term booking on NISTR and book the appointed teacher for the dates of the fixed-term post. The Supply Teacher must ensure that all booking parameters (availability, type of school etc) is aligned with the fixed term post details to ensure that the Teacher is included in the schools booking search results. These bookings can be set up by the schools primary, level 1 and level 2 users.

If you are unable to locate the teacher, please refer to the FAQ “I want to book a specific teacher, but I cannot find them on NISTR, why is this?”

For support on how to create a block booking, please refer to the FAQ, “How do I create a block booking for non-consecutive days (e.g I require a teacher every Tuesday and Thursday for 6 weeks)?”

As part of the future NISTR solution enhancements, we are currently investigating the possibility for the Teacher to set up the Fixed Term booking in the system, which will automatically book the teacher out for the length of this booking.

School Calendar

How do I update the school Calendar, why do I need to do this?

All schools are required to enter details of school closure days from 1st September to 31st August to support the provision of improved reporting on periods of continuous service and accurate information required to comply with TNC Circular 2016/1 in relation to the appropriate use of NISTR.

Please refer to the Holiday Calendar Quick Reference Guide to understand how to update your school calendar.

Please note: ONLY school holidays where supply teachers are NOT required should be added e.g. Christmas holidays, Easter etc. Please do not add in staff training days where supply Teacher may be required; the system will synchronise these holidays with the booking calendar, and it will not be possible to book a supply teacher during the dates added to the holiday calendar.

Short Notice supply Bookings

What is a short notice supply booking?

If a school wishes to make a booking and the start date of that booking is less than 24 hours away, instead of searching for teachers in the usual manner, the school can instead opt to post the details of the booking on a Short Notice Supply feed. The booking details are viewed by all teachers who have indicated that they are available to work in that school. Additionally, an email, an SMS or both will be sent to those Supply Teachers whose availability and skillset matches the booking details.  

Each teacher will then be able to view the details of the booking and apply for it if they wish. The school will be notified each time a Supply Teacher applies for the booking they have posted on Short Notice Supply. The school will then review all applicants and select the Supply Teacher that is most suitable for the role. Once the school selects a Supply Teacher, that booking will be automatically confirmed and will be populated in the Supply Teacher’s availability calendar as a confirmed booking.  

The successful teacher will be notified by email and SMS (in this case regardless of their preferred method of contact due to the short time to the start of the booking) that they have been accepted for the role. Simultaneously, all other applicants will be notified (according to their preferred method of contact) that they have not been successful at this time. 

One important thing to note about Short Notice Supply is that it operates on a “first come, first served” basis. This means that when a teacher is accepted by a school for a role, they will be removed from the application process for all other roles that they may have applied for, regardless of whether another role may have been more suitable or advantageous to them.  

Please also note that if no applications are received for a SNS booking, the booking will expire 2 hours after the booking has started.

Lastly, within the solution there is an intelligent search that allows for Teacher who partially meet the Short Notice Supply booking to be considered for the job. When searching for a teacher, School Users will receive a list of teachers who meet the full criteria (100%) and teachers who partially meet the criteria (from 99% to 75%).  The criteria are based on the following: School selection, Key stage type, Teaching subject and availability.

Please refer to the Short Notice Supply Quick Reference Guide to understand how to set up a SNS booking.

NISTR System Issues/ Contact Form

I think I am experiencing a technical issue with NISTR, what should I do?

If you think you are experiencing a technical issue within NISTR, or it is not functioning as expected, please go to our Contact page on the NISTR website and complete a NISTR Contact Form.

This form will capture all the relevant information, to support further investigation by our NISTR Support Desk.

 

How do I contact a member of the NISTR Administration team?

Please visit our NISTR Contact Page for more information on how to contact the NISTR Administration team you can contact the team through:

Bookmarking the NISTR Link

How do I bookmark the NISTR log in link to my desktop/ favourites?

Please follow the steps in the Device Bookmarking Quick Reference GuideTo understand how to add the NISTR log in link to your Browser favourites. This will ensure you have quick access to NISTR in the future.

How do I bookmark the NISTR log in link to my device homepage?

Please follow the steps in the Device Bookmarking Quick Reference Guide, to understand how to add the NISTR log in link to your device home screen (Android/ iOS). This will ensure you have quick access to NISTR in the future.

Last updated: 27/02/2023