There is no written planning policy for teacher supply and demand in Malta but there is a rigorous established procedure which takes into consideration several parameters with measures being taken accordingly. The various parameters include statistical projections of demographic trends in the Maltese population over the years, the proportion of teachers who retire each year, the pupil/teacher ratio, area and type of school, the diverse educational needs of students, teacher promotions, teachers availing themselves of maternal, parental and responsibility leave, teachers taking up posts of other responsibilities, job mobility, study leave, educational reforms and the classification exercise carried out each year by each individual school. This established procedure for managing teacher supply and demand falls under the responsibility of the Education Resources Department (ERD) and the Human Resources Department (HRD) within the Ministry for Education.
Statistical projections of demographic trends in the Maltese population
Statistical indicators produced by the National Statistics Office (NSO) record the number of live births for both males and females. These are recorded and updated regularly in order to estimate the number of children that will start school each scholastic year. In the case of the state schools sector, the number of live births is also calculated according to locality as this will give a good indication of the number of children that will start their education in particular schools and hence, the number of teachers required accordingly.
When compared to 2018, the population increase was mainly due to net migration (immigration less emigration). The total resident population of Malta at the end of 2019 stood at 514,564. Persons under 18 made up 15.9 per cent of the total population, while a further 18.5 per cent were aged 65 and over. The share of the total population that is foreign stood at 20.1 per cent as at end 2019.
The latest set of projections, EUROPOP-2019 which are published by Eurostat, predicted that by the beginning of 2050 Malta’s total resident population would reach 668,373. The EUROPOP-2019 baseline projection outlines a scenario where total population is expected to continue to grow rapidly over the next 30 to 35 years.
Proportion of teachers who retire each year
A list of teachers due to retire in the forthcoming two calendar years is drawn up annually so that projections and the necessary measures can be taken to replace retiring teachers. Pre-retirement leave (a maximum of three months) is taken into consideration such that teachers retiring in the first term of the scholastic year (from September till December) or teachers who will be availing themselves of pre-retirement leave during this first term ideally are not given a teaching load so as to create the least disruption possible in the school timetable. Such teachers are replaced immediately. Teachers retiring from the second term onwards are replaced gradually.
At pre-primary level, classes at Kindergarten 1 can have a maximum of fourteen pupils while classes at Kindergarten 2 can have a maximum of nineteen pupils.
There can be a maximum of twenty-eight students in primary school classes while the maximum number of students in secondary school classes is twenty-six students. In classes where a child is assessed as having Special Educational Needs (thus requiring the assistance of an LSE) the maximum number of children in Kindergarten 1 shall not exceed 12 students whilst in Kinder 2 the number of children shall be not more than 16. In the case of primary classes, when at least one student is with a statement of needs, the number of students shall not exceed twenty-four.
These factors are all taken into consideration by the Head of School and forwarded, through the Head of College Network (HCN), to the Assistant Director Education Resources for endorsement before any changes in class sizes can be affected. In Secondary schools, classes catering for learning at attainment levels 5-7 shall not exceed twenty students per class whilst those catering for learning attainments at levels 4-5 shall not exceed thirteen students per class.
Teacher demand is also affected by subject options at Year 9 (when students are between 13 and 14 years old) as students opt for particular subjects to study (such as Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Business Studies, Textile Studies, Physical Education (Option), Technical Design, Art (Option), VET/Applied Subjects and other subjects) in light of future academic paths. Subjects at the Secondary level requiring a laboratory/workshop setup the number of students shall not exceed sixteen.
Area and type of school
As from 1981, the state secondary schools sector has been made up of two different bands: Junior Lyceums and Area Secondary Schools. Junior Lyceums received students who would have successfully passed the selective end-of-primary-school examinations while Area Secondary Schools received those who would have failed these examinations. With the introduction of the College networks Junior Lyceum and Area Secondary School students started to attend the same Secondary school. With the removal, in June 2011, of the selective examination at the end of the primary cycle the distinction between Junior Lyceum students and Area Secondary school students was completely removed. As from September 2014, co-ed was launched in all state schools. During the same year, middle schools were introduced, where Year 7 and Year 8 students attend a separate school from other students in higher classes.
Teacher Special Responsibility Posts, Mobilities and Promotions
During the course of their service, teachers can apply for posts of special responsibilities, promotions or go on periods of study leave or other posts in foreign countries. This would result in an increase in demand for more class and subject teachers. Posts of special responsibilities include posts such as Guidance teachers, teacher librarians and Health and Safety teachers. The duties entailed by these posts mean that teachers have a reduced teaching load thereby increasing the demand for more teachers. The demand is further increased when teachers successfully apply for such posts as Education Officers, Heads of Departments or Assistant Heads of School.
Maternal, parental, responsibility and study leave
Another factor affecting teacher demand and supply is the number of teachers availing themselves of maternal, parental, responsibility and study leave. The average age of teachers in Malta is relatively a young one and a significant amount of them make use of parental leave. The established procedure is to first replace such teachers from the existing pool of teachers and then to employ supply and/or relief teachers. Such teachers are employed on a definite contract basis and are paid pro-rata according to the number of hours they work. Relief teachers may include retired teachers, University students or teachers on parental leave (with a reduced load).
Annual School Classification Exercises
The purpose of the classification exercises carried out by all schools each year is to quantify the number of teaching personnel required in order to effectively carry out the National Curriculum Framework and any other school and/or college-based curricular activities as approved by DCLLE in consultation with DES. A guide entitled ‘Annual School Classification Exercise for State Schools’ is available to help primary and secondary schools in the planning involved. Heads of Schools utilise the ‘Classification Programme’ software which is the official software distributed to each school by the Schools Information System Training Centre (SIS). Any recommended changes in class cohorts/subject groups and/or deployment of teaching staff must first be justified and endorsed by both the Head of College Network and the Director Education Resources Department within the DES. An updated list of students with a statement of needs must also accompany the classification document at all times and due consideration must be given to the teacher seniority list.
Entry to the profession
Persons with a teaching qualification (as indicated in the table below), in the subject/area/sector they wish to teach in, can enter into the profession as full-time teachers on an indefinite basis. Students in their final year of their teaching qualification are also engaged on condition that they complete their studies till end of November of that same year. If they fail to graduate, they will still be retained but their appointment will be as Supply Teachers, since they will not be eligible for a Permanent Teacher’s Warrant.
Supply teachers are engaged on a definite basis. Precedence is given first to those applicants having in their possession a first degree (not a teaching qualification) in the subject/area applied for and secondly to those applicants having a minimum of two (2) subjects at Advanced Matriculation Level (minimum grade E) (MQF Level 4), where one (1) of the Advanced Matriculation Level (minimum grade E) or an Award at MQF Level 4 (subject to a minimum of 30 ECTS/ECVET credits or equivalent must be in the subject/area applied for and four (4) passes at Ordinary Level (“O” Level grade A-C) and/or Secondary Education Certificate (SEC grade 1-5) (MQF Level 3), which must include English Language, Maltese Language and Mathematics. .
A selection process is held by the Ministry for Education and Employment in the form of an interview as per Public Service Commission selection process procedures for public officers.
RECOGNISED TEACHING QUALIFCATION BY THE COUNCIL FOR THE TEACHING PROFESSION (CTP)
Any reference to a Teaching /pedagogical qualification/course mentioned is required to be as indicated in the table hereunder and is required to be deemed as comparable by the CTP in terms of article 24 (2) (d) (iv) of the Education Act.
Any of the below teaching/pedagogical qualification are exempt from presenting such a comparability statement.
Recognised Teaching Qualifications
Minimum of ECTS/ ECVET
Minimum of Teaching Practice (TP) /School experience
Master’s in Teaching and Learning (MTL)
Bachelor of Education
School experience in the subject/area
Bachelor of Education
TP + school experience
Bachelor of Education +
Adaptation Course (Postgraduate Certificate)
Bachelor of Education (ECEC)
School experience in the subject/area
Degree in the subject/area +
Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
School experience in the subject/area
Degree in the subject/area +
Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)
TP + School experience
Masters’ in the subject/area +
Postgraduate Diploma in Education in the area/subject (PGDE)
TP + School Experience
Degree in the subject/area +
Master’s in the subject/area +
Postgraduate Certificate in Education in the subject/area (PGCE)
TP + school Experience
The above are for all programmes commencing as from October 2003 onwards
Any reference to a teaching/pedagogical course/qualification mentioned in this call, is referring to one of the above qualifications
Newly qualified teachers (NQTs) are requested to attend an induction seminar prior to the start of the scholastic year. In subsequent years this seminar was increased to three half-day’s duration. During this seminar, NQTs are given an overview of the various functions of the Directorates, legislation concerning education, and their role in schools. As from October 2010, following an agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT), mentoring and an induction period of one year were formally introduced as an integral condition of employment for all officers and employees within the Education Directorates, such induction being extended to two years for NQTs and NRTs. This period is over and above the three half-days induction seminar.
An induction coordinator, (such as an Assistant Head of School or a Head of Department), is chosen by the Head of School to co-ordinate the programme at school. The programme includes at least two formal meetings every term between the NQT and the mentor during which the mentor will give advice to the NQT about any challenges s/he might be facing. An agenda is set up for such meetings and a log book is kept to record the minutes, events, outcomes and plans of action of such meetings. Consequently, a final report is drawn up by the mentor and forwarded to the Head of School for approval with a final, positive report being required for the NQT to be confirmed in her/his post as a teacher.
Teachers employed in state schools are career public officers on an indefinite t basis while teachers employed in church and independent schools are appointed in accordance with general employment legislation. Upon starting work in a school, NQTs and NRTs are issued a Temporary Teacher’s Warrant from the Council of the Teaching Profession (unless already in possession of one). This warrant will become permanent after two years of satisfactory teaching upon confirmation by the Head of School and the EO of that particular teaching area or subject. All Teachers, temporary, Definite and supply and retired teachers are employed on a full-time basis entitling them to all school holidays and all type of leave in accordance with the country’s general employment legislation. Teachers, Temporary, supply or retired teachers engaged on reduced hours are employed on a definite contract basis and paid pro-rata depending on the number of hours they work.
A Teachers’ Code of Ethics and Practice, revised in 2012, forms part of the regulations of the Chapter 327 of the Laws of Malta, the Education Act. This serves to guide educators in their professional conduct and responsibilities towards students in their care, towards their colleagues, parents, the community and the Teaching Profession in general.
When the pool of teachers is reduced because of teachers who have either left the teaching profession or when teachers are granted special leave efforts are first made to redistribute teachers from the existing workforce through intra- and inter-college arrangements. If this does not suffice, the Directorates employ temporary teachers who may include supply teachers or retired teachers or teachers on reduced hours. Supply teachers are usually either unemployed graduates or university students. These work on a definite contract basis and are paid pro-rata according to the number of hours they work. Supply teachers can be given a full teaching load however, retired teachers are normally given a reduced teaching load. Temporary teachers follow the same job description of a regular teacher and must submit feedback to the class teachers and SMT about the work they have carried out.
Supporting measures for teachers
All educators in state schools can avail themselves of the Employee Support Programme (ESP), which is a support service available for public service employees who may be experiencing personal or work-related difficulties. The service addresses issues such as stress, mental health difficulties, relationship and family concerns, bereavement support, alcohol and substance misuse, and any other difficulty that may be affecting their wellbeing.
The service is provided by a team of professionals and is confidential and free of charge.
The gross annual salaries of teachers working in early childhood and school education for 2021 ranges from the €22,633.00 starting salary of newly qualified teachers to the maximum gross salary of €28,843.00, which is reached by teachers after 18 years of service.
Moreover, an annual qualification allowance is given to teachers having additional relevant qualifications. These allowances range from the annual €349 one receives for being in possession of a Diploma to the €932 that holders of a Doctoral degree receive.
Only the allowance relevant to the highest qualification is paid, and only where that qualification is not a pre-requisite qualification for appointment In addition, all teachers, including supply teachers, receive a class allowance which in 2021 is between €2,350 and €5,000 depending on salary scale and number of service years.
Furthermore, teachers receive a work resources allowance, which in 2021 is between €650 and €700 depending on the salary scale and those teachers with twenty (20) years of service or higher are entitled to €5,000 per annum.
The 2021 gross annual salaries of Kindergarten Educators working in Kindergarten centres range from €18,142.00 (this being the starting salary for Kindergarten Educator 1) to a maximum of €24,617.00 for Kindergarten Educator 3.
Likewise the 2021 gross annual salaries for Learning Support Educators (LSEs) range from the starting salary of €18,142.00 for LSEs 1 to the maximum gross annual salary of €24,617.00 for LSEs 3.
KGEs and LSEs are entitled to an annual class allowance, which in 2021 is between €1,480 and €1,825 depending on the salary scale. Furthermore, both are entitled to an annual work resources allowance which in 2021 is between €500 and €650.
Progression of a Teacher to the next salary scale may be accelerated from eight (8) years to (6) six years, if a teacher cumulates an aggregate of 360 hours of recognised self-sought Continuous Professional Development (CPD) time over six (6) years (through the applicable scheme issued by the management). Provided that if such self-sought CPD is compensated through accelerated progression, any qualification arising from such hours may not be further compensated through any other form of qualification allowance.
Working time and holidays
The working time and holidays of all teaching grades are determined by agreement between the Ministry for Education, the Education Directorates and the Malta Union of Teachers. The scholastic year for both students and teaching grades governed by this agreement is made up of 12 months from 1st September till 31st August and is split into 3 scholastic terms and 5 recesses as defined hereunder:-
- 1st Scholastic Term: from the fourth Monday of September till the last school day preceding the 23rd December, all of which shall be full school days;
- First Mid-Term Recess: the first three (3) school days in November adjacent to the adequate weekend;
- Christmas Recess: from the 23rd December to the 6th January both days inclusive;
- 2nd Scholastic Term: from the first school day following the 6th of January till the last Tuesday preceding Easter;
- 2nd Mid-Term Recess: Monday and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday; (vi) The Easter Recess: from Wednesday preceding Easter and Wednesday following Easter, both days inclusive;
- 3rd Scholastic Term: from Thursday following Easter till the last school day preceding the 30th June. Provided that Public Holidays falling on weekends and awarded to Public Officers by Central Government as additional entitlement of vacation leave, shall be compensated by additional day/s given consecutive to the end of Easter recess, up to a maximum of two (2) days per year;
- Summer Recess: for teaching grades in scholastic year 2018/2019, from the 7th July till the weekday preceding the fourth Monday of September. Provided that learners shall start their recess on 30th June and return to school Wednesday subsequent to the fourth Monday of September. Subsequent scholastic years shall be determined in agreement between MEDE and MUT
The total working hours for a scholastic year, for teaching grades is worked on the formula based on the duration of the scholastic year. The duration of a full school day, including fifteen (15) minutes mid-morning break but excluding mid-day break shall be of 5.5 hours a day in schools within the Early and Junior Years cycles (i.e. 27.5 hours per week on a five-day week). Provided that the mid-day break shall be of thirty (30) minutes duration. Provided further that all working/school days shall be full days except the first two (2) working days before the fourth Monday of September (preparation days for teaching grades) and as from the first working /school day in June till the 6th of July. The duration of a half school day, including fifteen (15) minutes midmorning break shall be of 3.75 hours per day in Early, Junior and Secondary Years cycles (i.e 18.75 hours per week on a five-day week).
Teachers at Primary Schools, including subject-specialist teachers in the Primary, the contact hours shall not exceed 25 hours.
All non-contact hours for Teachers in the Primary including both Class teachers and Subject Specialist teachers in the Primary cycle, shall be considered as on-site working-time to be utilised for activities such as the execution of administrative, curricular and professional functions including attending any meetings for up to 60 minutes per week that may be required whether at the respective school or elsewhere as directed by management.
For non-compulsory schooling years, all Kindergarten Educators and Teachers serving at Kindergarten level, shall be entitled to 60 minutes per week of noncontact/curriculum time as from scholastic year 2018/2019 to reach a maximum of 90 minutes per week of non-contact/curriculum time from scholastic year 2019/2020. This time shall be covered by Learning Support Educators or Kindergarten Educators Relievers (who may include Students performing practicum as part of further and higher education studies in a related area), and if required classes may be joined, provided student population will not exceed the maximum permissible population and/or learner to practitioner ratio established in Maltese legislation.
Unless otherwise stated, Teachers, KGEs and LSEs, may avail themselves of up to 31.25 hours of leave which includes statutory emergency leave.
Teachers can advance in their career to more senior posts through the appropriate calls of application issued by MFED under the delegated authority of the Public Service Commission. Subsequently, selection is made following an interview and according to the order of merit of the published results. Results are usually valid for one year.
Teachers at secondary level can also apply for special responsibility posts such as teacher-librarians, Career Guidance teachers and Health and Safety teachers. Teachers on such duties have a reduced teaching load in order to carry out duties related to the post. In the primary cycle, posts exist for complementary teachers who focus on pupils requiring extra support in numeracy and literacy skills and peripatetic teachers in Health and Safety, science, art, music, drama and physical education who visit a scheduled number of schools to teach their particular subject. Teachers may also apply to work in other departments within the Ministry for Education which are approved according to the exigencies of the Ministry.
ECEC teachers shall be offered the opportunity for a top up course to be able to obtain the relevant qualification to teach from Year 3 to Year 6.
Mobility and transfers
Each year teachers can apply to be redeployed to another school within the College or to a different College altogether. Teachers have to fill in the relevant deployment form which is endorsed by the Head of School. These forms are processed by the Director, Education Resources Department, and redeployments are approved or otherwise according to the exigencies and prerogatives of the Education Directorates though every effort is made to accommodate teachers’ requests. Redeployment may also be affected even if teachers have not asked to be redeployed depending on the Department’s needs, in which case teachers would be informed beforehand.
As serving public officers, dismissal of teachers employed in state schools follow procedures as laid out in the Public Service Management Code (PSMC). Teachers become liable to disciplinary proceedings if instances of misconduct, breach of discipline or code of ethics or unsatisfactory work are reported. Offences are reported (and in no case not later than five days) to the Head of School. If the Head of School deems it necessary to proceed, a written warning is given to the teacher concerned. The Head of College Network is kept informed at all times and if necessary, the case will be referred to the Director General Education Services. Allegations of a more serious breach of conduct are referred directly to the Council for the Teaching Profession who have the remit to investigate further into the merit of the case. If the allegations are ascertained, then the teacher involved could be given a reprimand or even have her/his Permanent Teacher’s Warrant revoked whereby the teacher involved would not be able to work in educational institutions. Furthermore, in cases deemed to necessitate criminal proceedings, teachers are referred to the Public Service Commission (PSC).
Retirement and pensions
The general conditions of service for eligibility for a pension or gratuity on retirement for public officers are laid down in the PSMC. Currently, the official retirement age in Malta for teachers is 62 years for both women and men. Teachers can retire either on medical grounds or on reaching the age limit. Teachers retiring on medical grounds are screened and then approval granted accordingly by a medical board set up exclusively for such purposes. Teachers employed within State Schools before the year 1979 and with a minimum of 30 years’ service, are entitled to choose between a commuted or uncommuted pension. If a teacher opts for an uncommuted pension, he/she shall receive two-thirds of his/her last salary from the Treasury Department.
Teachers may be requested, according to the exigencies of the Ministry of Education, to continue working beyond their official retirement age.