Droichead General Questions

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.

I would like to complete Droichead, but my school is not trained. What can I do?

Your school may contact the National Induction Programme of Teachers (NIPT) for advice regarding Droichead training at info@teacherinduction.ie to discuss the option of offering the process using the External PST model.

How do I apply?

In order to commence Droichead, you may apply electronically via My Registration. Select Login/My Registration, then My Conditions and the View Details option on your Droichead condition. When you apply for Droichead, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application. Once you have been accepted onto the Droichead process, you will receive an email confirming approval to commence the Droichead process.

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:

Their base school (i.e. the school with who they have their contract / are employed) is Droichead trained and they are supported by the same Professional Support Team (PST) throughout the Process.

Ideally all schools would be Droichead trained, however at least one (i.e. the base school) must be. The other schools do not have to be engaged in Droichead but must be willing to have members of the PST observe the NQT in their school if appropriate.

If more than one school in the cluster is engaged in Droichead they can form an inter-school PST, drawing PST members from one or more schools, if appropriate.

The NIPT can be contacted in order to ensure it is viable for the process to be completed where employment is shared across schools. Contact details are available on www.teacherinduction.ie

I am registered under Route 1 Primary / Route 4 Other and I have been offered a job-share / part-time contract for the full academic year. May I complete Droichead?

As per Droichead Transitionary Arrangements you may apply for Droichead if you are:

(a) On a job-share contract for the duration of the full academic year (this includes teachers employed as replacement teachers)

OR

(b) On a part-time contract of not less than half hours (12.5 hours) for the duration of the academic year

  • Please note an application for Droichead must be made by 30 September and the process must extend for the duration of the academic year. All other requirements of the process must be met unless otherwise exempted, e.g. Cluster meetings, professional learning activities, observations.
  • Where a teacher has 2 separate part-time contracts which total more than 12.5 hours for the full academic year, they may apply for Droichead, once Droichead is available in both schools and a PST cluster arrangement is put in place if necessary
  • Advice should be sought from the Teaching Council

Can a post-primary NQT, employed in a job-sharing capacity apply for Droichead?

A post-primary teacher employed in a job-sharing capacity may be able to apply for Droichead, provided they are working in an eligible setting.

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 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.

Can I complete Droichead while working in another country?

It is not possible to complete Droichead while working in another country. If you are going abroad to work, you should contact the Teaching Council with the specifics of your job for advice.

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 Cycle 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.

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

While you cannot apply for Droichead any more than 5 working days prior to commencing employment, you may apply for Droichead at any stage after starting employment in a Droichead school. However, it is important to note that once you apply and receive approval to commence Droichead, you commence immediately and ensure that you will meet the minimum service requirement i.e. at least 60 consecutive school days (in the case of primary) or a block of 200 hours (in the case of post-primary).

One of my PST members has left and is no longer working in the school. What should I do?

Please contact the NIPT at info@teacherinduction.ie immediately for advice.

I have started work in a Droichead school, however I am not in a position to apply for Droichead until later in the academic year. Is this acceptable?

The Teaching Council recommends that you apply for Droichead as soon as you commence employment in a Droichead school. However, if you commence Droichead later in the academic year, you must ensure that you will meet the minimum service requirement i.e. at least 60 consecutive school days (in the case of primary) or a block of 200 hours (in the case of post-primary) before your contract ends at the end of the school year.

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 substitute 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.

How many cluster meetings am I required to complete?  

You are required to complete one cluster meeting per term, specific to your sector for the duration of your Droichead process. You must complete Cluster Meeting 1 (CM 1) during the first term of your Droichead process and you must complete Cluster Meeting 1 (CM 1) before engaging in either Cluster Meeting 2 (CM 2) and/or Cluster Meeting 3 (CM 3). Upon successful completion of CM 1, subsequent cluster meetings can be completed in any order. Cluster meetings are scheduled and facilitated by National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT). Further information in relation to Droichead Cluster Meetings can be found on  the NIPT website www.teacherinduction.ie

How do I complete the Cluster Meetings?

All Cluster Meetings are available online. Cluster Meetings are administered by the National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT). Further information in relation to Cluster Meetings is available on the NIPT website.

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 your decision. This will allow you to make a new application in the future should you choose to do so.

My PST are refusing to sign my Form D. What do I do?

Please contact the NIPT at info@teacherinduction.ie immediately for advice.

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, you may complete the online Droichead Form D in My Registration. Select Login/My Registration', then 'My Conditions' and the View Details option on your Droichead condition. Select option to complete your Droichead Form D.

I completed Post Qualification Employment hours (PQE) and have Induction Workshops outstanding, can I apply for and complete the Droichead process?

No you may not complete the Droichead process once you have completed PQE (Traditional Process). Resources in schools are needed for those who are required to complete the Droichead process (i.e. teachers who are not eligible for the Traditional Process).

In which roles/settings may Droichead take place?

A Primary teacher may undertake Droichead where they are employed in one of the following roles:

a)  mainstream class teacher

b)  special class teacher in a mainstream school

c)  teacher in a special school

d)  full-time resource teacher of pupils with low-incidence disabilities (as defined by the Department of Education)

e)  full-time learning support teacher

f)  a role which combines both d) and e) above (Learning Support/Resource teaching post).

  

A Post-primary teacher may undertake Droichead where they are employed in one of the following roles:

a)  teacher in a recognised post-primary school

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

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

I have submitted my Form D to the Teaching Council. When can I expect to have it processed and how will I be notified that the condition of Droichead has been removed from my registration?

In times of low volume, we endeavour to process Form Ds within 5-10 working days of receipt. Processing times will increase during peak times (i.e. Easter and end of academic year). You will be notified by email when your Droichead condition has been removed from your registration.

I am a post-primary NQT on a part-time/full-time contract teaching a subject I am not registered with. Can I still apply for Droichead?

Yes, you can apply for Droichead on the condition that you complete a minimum of 200 hours’ teaching a post-primary curricular subject in an eligible setting. However, ideally you should be teaching the subject for which you hold registration.

I’m on a Substitute Teacher Panel. Can I complete Droichead?

Droichead can’t be completed on short term substitutions as substitution by its nature does not allow the NQT to complete the full range of activities inherent in the role of a teacher e.g. long-term planning, assessment, student progression, parent/teacher meetings etc.

A Primary teacher must complete a block of 60 consecutive school days in an eligible setting. A Primary teacher will normally undertake the Droichead process when employed as a mainstream class teacher. As a general rule, paid employment in a permanent, temporary or substitute capacity is eligible, where the teacher is teaching all areas of the Primary School Curriculum, including Irish, to a mainstream class of pupils (single or multi-grade) for the entire school day, and where the teacher’s tenure at the school will afford him/her the opportunity to meet the minimum duration requirements. In the above cases, the period of employment must involve teaching the same cohort of pupils.

A Post-primary teacher must complete 200 hours’ teaching employment in an eligible setting to include the teaching of a Post-primary curricular subject(s) to a designated class on the school’s timetable, or employment in a learning support, special needs or language support position. The time requirements are designed to allow teachers to focus on long-term planning, student learning and development, assessment etc. and to provide students with adequate support and guidance.

I am an Irish qualified teacher and have been offered a job in England; can I complete Droichead or the equivalent English induction process?

No, it is not possible to complete Droichead outside Ireland, as Droichead is based on teaching the Irish State curriculum, within recognised schools.

From September 2021, the Department of Education (DfE) in England introduced a new statutory model of induction called the Early Career Framework (ECF). Information on this process is available here: Induction for early career teachers.

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) is the government agency /competent authority responsible for overseeing and verifying the induction of teachers in England. The Teaching Council in Ireland requires certification directly from the TRA confirming induction for early career teachers has been successfully completed to remove the condition of Droichead.  To be eligible to complete the ECF induction, the TRA requires teachers to hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England. This means that Irish qualified teachers must first apply for QTS in England before they are eligible to complete the ECF induction which is signed off/certified by the TRA. 

I am an Irish qualified teacher and have been offered a job in a British School Overseas (e.g. in the Middle East); can I complete Droichead or the equivalent English induction process?

No, it is not possible to complete Droichead outside Ireland, as Droichead is based on teaching the Irish State curriculum, within recognised schools.

It is the Council’s understanding that some schools including British Schools Overseas may offer induction recognised in the UK (England) to staff. From September 2021, the Department of Education (DfE) in England introduced a new statutory model of induction called the Early Career Framework (ECF). Information on this process is available here: Induction for early career teachers.

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) is the government agency /competent authority responsible for overseeing and verifying the induction of teachers in England. The Teaching Council in Ireland requires certification directly from the TRA confirming induction for early career teachers has been successfully completed to remove the condition of Droichead.  To be eligible to complete the ECF induction, the TRA requires teachers to hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England. This means that Irish qualified teachers must first apply for QTS in England before they are eligible to complete the ECF induction which is signed off/certified by the TRA. 

Can I complete an induction process similar to Droichead while working outside of Ireland, for example in the United Arab Emirates?

In order to be recognised as equivalent to Droichead all induction processes must meet certain criteria. Similar to the Droichead process, the Induction programme must be state recognised and underpinned by policy / process documentation detailing the induction programme. Such documentation should be published by either the Ministry of Education or a recognised Competent Authority (e.g. the equivalent of the Teaching Council ). The documentation should clearly set out the requirements of the induction process to be completed by all teachers in the country (i.e. the process must be the same for all teachers). Once completed the induction process must be validated at state level as the process completed by the teacher. Some schools complete their own internal induction process – this will not suffice as you must complete an induction process that is recognised and validated at state level.

It is the Council's understanding that currently a state recognised induction process is not available in the UAE and therefore it is not possible to complete a process similar to Droichead while working there. For other countries please email the Council at conditions@teachingcouncil.ie with a link to or copy of the policy / process documentation published by the Ministry of Education / Competent Authority detailing the induction programme in the country in which you intend to work and we will advise further then.

IMPORTANT: It is important to note that the traditional processes of Probation (probated by the Inspectorate) for Primary Teachers and Post-Qualification Employment (PQE) for post-primary teachers have been phased out. Droichead is now the only route of induction for all primary and post-primary teachers registered from 1 June 2020.