Northern Ireland: all you need to know about teaching in the region

13th June 2019 at 16:45
If you’re looking for good schools, stunning beaches and perhaps a Game of Thrones fix now that the show is over, Northern Ireland could be the place for you

Northern Ireland has a lot to offer teachers, from a low cost of living to the rich history and stunning countryside. 

It’s a country immersed in fables and stories. Its dramatic landscapes have formed the backdrop for HBO’s Game of Thrones, while sights such as the Mourne Mountains and Giant’s Causeway served as inspiration for CS Lewis’ Narnia.

But what is it like to live and work there? We looked at some of the key facts and figures.


19,867 – Total teacher headcount

18 – Average number of pupils per teacher


4.25% – Backdated pay rise to be offered to teachers in the country over two years


£134,811 – Average cost of a property (the cheapest in the UK)


£23,861 – Average cost of living per household

Belfast and the Causeway Coast – named the top place to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018

What is it like living and working in Northern Ireland?

Corinne Latham, principal of Seaview Primary School and Nursery Unit in Belfast

"Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The weather may not be great most of the time but the people are brilliant. I was born here, my family live here and I love the way of life here.

I love the countryside. The rolling drumlins of County Down, where the mountains sweep down to the sea, is one of my favourite places on the planet. Murlough Beach, near Newcastle, is full of sand dunes, which my family love exploring – we have enjoyed many happy days there.

There is so much to do in Belfast. The grandeur of City Hall, the fun of W5, and the sound of a fiddle in the Crown Bar. The city has improved its infrastructure and now hosts many concerts and theatrical events, and there are great opportunities to watch and play a variety of sports.

Teachers in Northern Ireland are very committed. They tend to be really loyal to their schools and have opportunities for professional development. But I think what sets us apart is our approach to creativity and innovation.

We have a strategic approach through a national education-based innovation forum and there is also considerable work being done in the area of shared education. This allows schools from different religious and cultural perspectives to give their pupils collaborative learning experiences while retaining their own school identity.

It allows for learning hubs to develop across the country to encourage teachers to work together on professional learning subjects that will enrich their pupils’ experience at school.

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