The Department of Education has introduced a freeze on the filling of vacant permanent teaching posts in schools.

It has instructed school managers to fill any permanent vacancies only on a temporary basis.

It says this is so that it can adhere to the provisions of the Government's National Recovery Plan.

The plan includes the withdrawal of 1,200 teaching posts across the system.

These include Resource and Visiting Teachers for Travellers, as well as some English Language Support Teachers.

The freeze has been introduced so that teachers in those positions can be redeployed to fill existing vacancies.

This is a blow to young graduate teachers seeking work. It means that no permanent positions will be on offer.

The freeze is to run until next September.

The freeze does not affect vacant School Principal and Deputy Principal posts.

The Teachers' Union of Ireland said it was outraged at the move.

TUI General Secretary Peter MacMenamin said ‘the Department seems hell-bent on disenfranchising the country's best and brightest young teachers by a range of swingeing measures, including salary cuts, pension cuts and now this block on any permanent appointments’.

Mr MacMenamin said the union would oppose the measures and ‘do everything in our powers to mobilise those who will be the teachers of tomorrow.’

The INTO said the decision was a kick in the teeth to recently qualified teachers who were currently surviving on casual substitute work.