Droichead

What is Droichead

Droichead is an integrated induction framework for newly qualified teachers (NQTs). It has been designed to reflect the importance of the induction phase on the teacher’s lifelong learning journey. It marks the point where the new teacher is formally welcomed into the profession of teaching having completed the initial teacher education phase.

Droichead includes both school-based and additional professional learning activities to meet the needs of teachers as they begin their career. It is made available in primary schools, post-primary schools, special schools and in Centres of Education in which a post-primary curricular subject(s) is being taught, where such schools or centres have been registered by the National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT) as participants in the Droichead process.

What is the main objective of the Droichead process?

The main objective of the Droichead process is to support the professional learning of NQTs during the induction phase, thus laying the foundations for subsequent professional growth and learning for the next phase of their career.

What are the teaching positions in a primary school that are recognised for the purposes of completing the Droichead process?

A primary school teacher will normally undertake the Droichead process when employed as a mainstream class teacher in a recognised primary school. As a general rule, paid employment in a permanent, temporary or substitute capacity is eligible, where the teacher is teaching all 11 subjects of the Primary School Curriculum, including Irish, to a mainstream class of pupils (single or multi-grade) for the entire school day.

Other than in exceptional circumstances, schools should deploy NQTs in a mainstream setting. In certain circumstances, where the NQT is the most appropriate teacher to support the needs of pupils, they may complete the Droichead process in one of the following roles:

a) special class teacher in a mainstream school

b) teacher in a special school

c) full-time resource teacher of pupils with low-incidence disabilities (as defined by the DES)

d) full-time learning support teacher

e) a role which combines both c) and d) above (LS/RT post).

 In the above cases, the period of employment must involve teaching the same cohort of pupils (save for exceptional absences). As part of the Droichead process, the school should also endeavour to ensure that there are opportunities for the newly qualified teacher to teach in a mainstream setting, which would include the teaching and learning of Gaeilge in a mainstream class, in collaboration with the class teacher.

What are the teaching positions in a post-primary school that are recognised for the purposes of completing the Droichead process?

A post-primary teacher will normally undertake the Droichead process when employed in a recognised school teaching a post-primary curricular subject(s) to a designated class on the school's timetable.

A teacher may also complete the Droichead process where they are employed in one of the following roles:

a)       post-primary teacher in a mainstream school employed in a learning support, special needs or language support position

b)      a special school where a proportion of the pupils attending the school are of post-primary age, and where the teacher is teaching a post-primary curricular subject(s) to such pupils, or

c)      a Centre for Education where a post-primary curricular subject(s) is being taught.

The terminology regarding Special Education Needs settings has been updated and is now referred to as Special Education Teaching roles as per Department of Education Circular 14/2017. Can Droichead be completed when employed in these roles?

Yes, teachers employed in Special Education Teaching roles are eligible to apply for Droichead.

Can an NQT apply for Droichead if they are employed in a full-time shared Special Education Teaching role? 

An NQT may apply for Droichead if s/he is:

 

(1) teaching in at least one Droichead school* and 

(2) supported by the same PST throughout the process**.

 

*Ideally all schools would be Droichead schools.

 

**The NIPT should be contacted in order to ensure it is viable for the process to be completed where employment is shared across schools. 

Can an NQT apply for Droichead if employed in a pre-school setting in mainstream schools including Early Start?

No, this is not an eligible position for the completion of Droichead.

Can an NQT who is employed in a job-sharing capacity apply for Droichead?

A primary teacher who is employed in a job sharing capacity will not have the required 60 consecutive days post qualification practice requirement and will therefore be unable to participate in the Droichead process. A post-primary teacher employed in a job sharing may be able to apply for Droichead, provided they are working in an eligible setting.

Can Droichead be completed in a privately funded school?

Yes. The Droichead process can be completed in a private school that is a member of the Association of Independent Junior Schools (AJIS) where school management has agreed to the process and registered teachers are available to form a PST.

Can an NQT apply for Droichead if they are employed as a teacher teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL)?

A teacher may apply for Droichead when employed in an EAL role in a recognised school setting. 

Can an NQT complete Droichead if employed in a Hospital School?

A Hospital School is classified as a special educational setting and therefore Droichead may take place in this setting, provided that all the eligibility criteria are met.

I am a primary school teacher. What is the minimum duration of the Droichead process?

A primary teacher must complete a minimum block of 60 consecutive school days in an eligible setting from the date on which he/she was first appointed to a post recognised for Droichead purposes in a primary school.

It should be noted that this is an absolute minimum period of practice and the Council believes that, where your practice in a school exceeds those thresholds, it is advisable to defer the completion of the process until nearer the end of your time at the school. 

I am a post-primary school teacher. What is the minimum duration of the Droichead process?

A post-primary teacher must complete a minimum of 200 hours’ teaching employment in an eligible setting from the date on which they were first appointed to a post recognised for Droichead purposes in a post-primary school.

It should be noted that this is an absolute minimum period of practice and the Council believes that, where your practice in a school exceeds those thresholds, it is advisable to defer the completion of the process until nearer the end of your time at the school.

Are hours spent teaching one or more of the Junior Certificate Short Courses considered eligible for Droichead?

Yes. 

A teacher has dual registration in primary and post-primary. If he/she completes Droichead in one setting, will it remove the condition in both settings?

Once Droichead has been completed in one sector it does not have to be repeated in a second sector for registration purposes. Engagement in Droichead in a second sector is likely to be a valuable learning experience for teachers navigating the transition from one sector to another, but it is not a Council requirement.

How do I apply?

In order to commence Droichead, you apply electronically to the Teaching Council here. An email confirmation will issue to you from the Teaching Council confirming that you have registered for the Droichead process.

When do I apply to the Teaching Council to commence the Droichead process?

You should apply to the Teaching Council within five working days of commencing employment in a Droicheadschool:

  • in an eligible setting and
  • in an eligible post of minimum duration of at least 60 consecutive school days (in the case of primary) or a block of 200 hours (in the case of post- primary).

Is there a closing date to register to commence the Droichead process?

A closing date will apply to receipt of applications.  Advance notice of the closing date will be posted on the Teaching Council website in the second half of the school year. 

I have some short term substiute work but I am uncertain how long it will continue. Do I apply to the Teaching Council to commence the Droichead process?

No. You should apply to the Teaching Council to commence Droichead only if you

(1) are employed in a Droichead school and

(2) you are in an eligible setting and

(3) the post is of minimum duration of 60 consecutive school days at primary level or a block of 200 hours at post-primary level.

What happens if I move school for any reason before I complete the Droichead process?

If you move school before the process has been completed, you must  contact the Teaching Council at conditions@teachingcouncil.ie and cancel your Droichead Application as you will be required to start the Droichead process again. This will allow you to re-register to commence the Droichead process, upon commencement of a new eligible teaching post in a Droichead school.

I have completed some of the induction workshop programme prior to September 2016. What happens if I commence Droichead?

You are welcome to continue to engage in the workshop programme, and many NQTs find it beneficial, but it is not a Council requirement for those who commenced Droichead during or after the 2016/2017 school year.

The Droichead Policy states that NQTs engage in one cluster meeting per term. If I am employed in the school for a year, but my Droichead process ends at the end of term 2, should I attend the cluster meeting in term 3?

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.

Can I complete Droichead if I qualified as a teacher outside of Ireland and have the condition of ‘Qualification Shortfalls’ on my registration?

Yes. Droichead is a professional induction framework. Teachers may choose to complete Droichead as soon as they commence employment, and fulfil their qualification shortfall requirements simultaneously, or subsequently. All teachers with conditional registration generally have three years within which to fulfil conditions attached to their registrations.

I have previously completed an Induction Workshop, can I put this down as a Professional Learning Activity on my Form D?

The induction workshop can be accepted as a Professional Learning Activity as long as it falls within the timeframe of your Droichead process and has been identified and agreed  as relevant to your needs with your Professional Support Team (PST). If you completed the workshop before you registered for the Droichead process, it will not be accepted as the Professional Learning Activity.

Prior to commencing Droichead I completed all 10 Induction Workshops. Can I put this down as a Professional Learning Activity on my Form D?

Yes, as per Droichead Transitionary Arrangements, you may put the 10 Induction Workshops down as offsetting the Professional Learning Activity requirement.

What is the difference between the Induction Workshop Programme and a Cluster meeting?

The Induction Workshop Programme is a series of 10 workshops of 2 hour duration  that forms part of the “traditional induction process” i.e. Probation & Induction Workshops for primary teachers and Post Qualification Employment (PQE) & Induction Workshops for post-primary teachers. The workshops are available in the local education centres and some are available on-line. From the 2016/2017 academic year, teachers who engage fully in the Droichead process are not required to complete the Induction Workshop Programme as the condition of Induction is fulfilled as part of the integrated Droichead process. The condition of Induction Workshop is removed when the completed Droichead Form D is submitted.

Cluster meetings form part of the additional professional learning activities required as part of  Droichead, the new induction process for teachers. They are facilitated by the National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT) in the local education centres. Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) must attend one cluster meeting (2 hour duration) per term as part of their Droichead process. The national schedule for cluster meetings takes place over the course of the school year. Specific dates, venues and times of cluster meetings are advertised on the education centre websites.

What do I do if I apply for Droichead but subsequently decide not engage in the process?

You must email the Council at conditions@teachingcouncil.ie and advise that you wish to cancel your Droichead application stating the reason for you decision.  This will allow you to make a new application in the future should you choose to do so.

What happens when I submit a Form D?

If you are a primary teacher and you submit a Form D, the conditions of Droichead/Probation and Induction (if applicable) are removed.

If you are a post-primary teacher and you submit a Form D, the conditions of Droichead, Post Qualification Employment (PQE) and Induction (if applicable) are removed.

What do I need to do when I complete Droichead?

Upon completion of the Droichead process, the Professional Support Team and the NQT complete Form D which can be downloaded from the Teaching Council website here. This form, along with the confirmation email must be submitted to the Teaching Council.

Do I need to send anything with my completed Form D - Droichead?

If you registered for Droichead prior to September 2017 please ensure that you send a print out of the email confirmation you received from Limerick Education Centre which confirms that you registered for Droichead using the DRI.

If however you registered for Droichead after September 2017 please ensure that you send a print out of the email confirmation you received from the Teaching Council which confirms your registration for Droichead.