Updated 2 November, 2015
The Teaching Council is pleased to publish the preliminary findings from the ESRI's research on the Droichead process to date. The preliminary findings are set out in the working paper which is available here. This offers a useful opportunity for all stakeholders to reflect on the process as the Council works towards finalising the Droichead policy in March 2016. A summary of the preliminary findings is available here.
It is noteworthy that the preliminary research findings support much of the feedback received directly from schools to date – that the process has clear potential to have a beneficial impact on all teachers in Droichead schools, not just Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) or members of the PSTs (Professional Support Teams). In that light, the Council would like to take this opportunity to thank all teachers and schools who have participated in the process to date for helping to shape an exciting new development for the teaching profession in Ireland.
The preliminary findings also indicate that Droichead takes place within the broader context of formal and informal collaboration within the school. This is further evidence of how Droichead provides a formal statutory acknowledgement for the support and guidance that many teachers have given their newly qualified colleagues for years.
While the final ESRI report has yet to be completed, the preliminary findings are encouraging. In this light, the Council is of the view that with the appropriate resources and support, the confirmation of Droichead as the route of induction for all NQTs could be achieved in a three year timeframe. This would mark a five year period of development from the date of commencement of the pilot. However, key steps in ensuring this achievement will be the receipt and consideration of the final ESRI report and clarification of the resources and actions that will be necessary to grow the process sustainably in that timeframe.
As we work towards the approval of policy in March 2016, the Council will pay particular attention to the following issues:
- The need to maintain and support all pathways for feedback and sharing learning between teachers, including the Shared Learning Days, so that the ongoing development of Droichead as the route of induction for all NQTs will continue to be informed by all teachers participating in the process. This will also offer continued reassurance to the profession regarding consistency of standards in the Droichead process.
- The extent to which Droichead acknowledges and builds on the experience of NQTs who will have completed the extended programmes of initial teacher education e.g. B. Ed., PME.
- The need to clarify the flexibility which schools have in implementing the Droichead process, while ensuring a high quality experience of guidance and support for NQTs.
- The need to clarify how Droichead builds on the extended school placement of the programmes of teacher education, and also links in with the forthcoming framework for teachers’ learning, Cosán.
- Clarification of the mechanisms by which release time can be accessed at both primary and post-primary level.
We look forward to further engagement with stakeholders in the next few months.
21 October 2015