Hundreds of young school teachers fear they may lose their jobs as a result of new Department of Education instructions on the filling of vacant teaching posts.

The Department has told schools that the outgoing government’s four year recovery plan and the EU/IMF deal mean all vacant positions must be filled by permanent teachers moving from other schools, at the expense of temporary teachers who may already be doing the job.

An email, sent to schools late last week, in effect explains how cuts announced in the last budget will impact on schools’ staffing policies.

The budget eliminated an estimated 1,200 teaching positions - mostly posts dedicated to Traveller children and those who have difficulty speaking English.

That means there will be a large surplus of permanent teachers after June in need of redeployment.

Now the Department of Education has told Primary schools it must employ these teachers before any others. The Department says Second-Level schools will soon receive the same instruction.