Droichead is a process of induction for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) led by their more experienced colleagues on the Professional Support Team. Every aspect of the process is about welcoming and supporting the NQT during their first year as they take full responsibility for the learning experiences of students and pupils. Our experience to date clearly indicates that for NQTs, the cluster meetings offer them valuable opportunities to learn from their peers about their experiences in other schools, and to give advice and support to each other, facilitated by the NIPT. This is why they are such an integral part of the Droichead induction process.
In this light, once Form D has been submitted to the Teaching Council, there is no longer a requirement for NQTs to attend cluster meetings. However, in light of the feedback from NQTs about them, we would encourage teachers to attend any cluster meetings between that point in time and the end of the school year. NQTs who have completed the Droichead process have much to offer fellow NQTs who are commencing that process, and their engagement in additional cluster meetings could be a valuable learning opportunity for everyone involved. Indeed, NQTs who have achieved full registration can view their further participation in cluster meetings as part of their learning journey, as they progress seamlessly from Droichead into Cosán. In this way, they could be part of Cosán’s development process, help shape the further development of the framework, and thereby secure recognition of their support for other teachers’ learning.