Teaching Council announces significant changes in induction for new teachers

Newly Qualified Teachers in Droichead show greater levels of improvement according to ESRI research

Wednesday, 2 March 2016: The Teaching Council has today announced a number of significant changes to Droichead, the integrated framework for the induction of new teachers.

The changes announced today have been shaped by the teachers who have participated in the Droichead pilot over the past three years, including more than 750 newly qualified teachers (NQTs). They are also a result of Council’s reflection on the findings of research carried out by the ESRI. According to the research, NQTs in Droichead schools showed greater levels of improvement and lower levels of stress than their counterparts in non-Droichead schools.

Speaking today, Teaching Council Director, Tomás Ó Ruairc, said “Droichead reflects the growing importance of induction for new teachers over the past 14 years. It is grounded in the belief that the quality of new teachers’ learning is enhanced when they have space and time to engage with their more experienced colleagues. In this way, the quality of students’ learning stands to benefit.”

“The Council has decided that Droichead will be the recognised route to induction for new teachers in large schools from September 2017 and for all new teachers from September 2018, subject to the required resources and supporting actions being in place. The Council has called on all stakeholders, including management and unions, to work towards a position whereby a system of guaranteed placement is established for new teachers. In the interim, all stakeholders have a responsibility to ensure that new teachers get as much time as possible to apply their professional learning in teaching”, added Mr Ó Ruairc.

The changes to Droichead include:

  1. Integration of the Droichead process and induction workshop programme. From September 2016, all new teachers who commence Droichead will attend one cluster meeting per term and one additional professional learning activity. This replaces the current registration condition to attend 10 workshops.
  2. New teachers who wish to avail of the Droichead process will be able to do so in a wide variety of settings. New teachers will normally complete Droichead in a mainstream setting. However, in certain circumstances, where the NQT is the most appropriate teacher to support the needs of pupils, they can engage in the Droichead process in special schools, learning support and resource settings.
  3. Explicit recognition of the enhanced, reconceptualised programmes of initial teacher education. The extended school placement in the latter half of the initial teacher education (ITE) programmes will now be recognised towards the professional practice requirement of Droichead. In addition to the extended ITE placement, newly qualified primary teachers undergoing Droichead will now complete a single block of 60 days, and post-primary teachers will complete a single block of 200 hours.

The existing probation and Post-qualification Employment (PQE) processes will continue to be an option for mainstream schools in the 2016/2017 school year, but will not be open to special schools or special educational needs settings.

Mr Ó Ruairc explained the significance of the Droichead pilot saying: “The teachers who have participated in the pilot and the research have demonstrated how the profession can be trusted to not only maintain, but also enhance, the quality of learning for themselves and their students”.

“There will be a further review of the Council’s policy in 2019. Teachers and schools who participate in Droichead between now and then will shape and influence the future of their profession’s learning.”, Mr Ó Ruairc concluded.