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 d) and e) 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.