The purpose of the Droichead Quality Assurance (DQA) panel is to quality assure the Droichead process. It does this in two main ways:
- Completion of annual reviews at national level in order to promote and develop a shared understanding across schools about what works well in Droichead, within different school contexts. It also examines if the process is fair, and consistent with Teaching Council policy.
In carrying out these reviews, the Panel visits a random selection of primary and post-primary schools where the Droichead process has taken place and discusses the process with the Principal, the Professional Support Team (PST) and the Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). Such visits are pre-arranged and take place in a spirit of collegiality and collaboration. Following its review, the panel submits an anonymised report to the Teaching Council setting out its findings and recommendations in relation to the process. The report is considered by the Council and, following adoption, is sent to the schools concerned and published on the Council’s website.
2. Consideration of requests from NQTs for their Droichead process to be reviewed.
The procedure for such requests is as follows:
- If an NQT or the PST have concerns about any aspect of the Droichead process, they should seek to resolve these as quickly as possible at local level.
- Where the NQT or the PST feel that their concerns are not being satisfactorily addressed, they may contact the NIPT associate assigned to the school. An associate is a practising and fully registered teacher who is also an experienced mentor, and who is nominated by the National Induction Programme for Teachers to support the Droichead process at school level. The associate visits the school to discuss the Droichead process with the NQT and PST members, making recommendations on how to address areas of concern. Regular contact is maintained with the associate. Where necessary, the issues may be escalated to the full-time staff within the NIPT team. This might be one of the NIPT’s team of Regional Development Officers, who support the Droichead process at regional level, one of its two team leaders, or its national co-ordinator.
- Where the NQT has exhausted the above mechanisms, and feels that his or her concerns are still not being satisfactorily addressed, he/she may apply to the Teaching Council for a review to be carried out by the DQA panel, setting out the reasons why he or she considers that the Droichead process is not being, or has not been, carried out in an appropriate manner.
- The panel’s findings, including any recommendations for improvement, will be communicated in writing to the NQT, the principal of the school and the Council.
- In situations where the NQT subsequently applies for an extension to his or her period of conditional registration, the outcome of the panel’s decision should be included in the supporting documentation and will be taken into account by the Council when considering the application.
Composition of the Droichead Quality Assurance (DQA) Panel
Review panels are established by the Teaching Council and each panel has three members:
- A Chairperson
- A teacher from the relevant sector
- A person with experience in the support and evaluation of teaching and learning at school level
The Chairperson is appointed by the Director of the Council. Ideally, the Chairperson will remain in place over a minimum of three years, so as to provide a degree of continuity. No chairperson shall remain in the role for more than five years.