Droichead

Droichead (bridge in Irish) is the enhanced model of induction for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs). This will be the recognised route of induction for all new teachers from September 2018, subject to the required resources and supporting actions being in place.

Droichead has been designed in collaboration with the profession to reflect the importance of induction for new teachers as they are formally welcomed into the most important profession in society. It is grounded in the belief that those best placed to conduct this formal welcome are experienced colleagues who have relevant and in-depth knowledge of teaching and learning in their respective schools. 

There are currently more than 330 schools (primary and post-primary) registered for Droichead, with almost 400 newly qualified teachers participating in the process for 2015/2016.

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Droichead  Webinar, 25 May 2016

A Droichead Webinar panel discussion was held on Wednesday 25 May 2016, from 8pm to 9pm. It was hosted by Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council. The Panel discussion took place with Máirín Ní Chéileachair, the National Co-ordinator for the National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT); two principals in Droichead schools, and a former Newly Qualified Teacher who has participated in the Droichead process.

To view the video please click on this link

Droichead Announcement, 2 March 2016

At the Shared Learning Day for Droichead (2 March 2016), Teaching Council Director Tomás Ó Ruairc announced a number of significant changes to Droichead, the integrated framework for the induction of newly qualified teachers (NQTs). These changes have been shaped by the teachers who have participated in the Droichead pilot over the past three years, including more than 750 NQTs who have engaged in the process to date. They are also a result of the Council’s reflection on the findings of the ESRI research that was conducted during the pilot phase, and which is being published today. For further details of these changes, please click the links below.

Invitation to schools

Schools interested in registering for Droichead are invited to complete the Droichead registration form here, www.teacherinduction.ie

Shared Learning Bursary

A Shared Learning bursary of €500 is available for Droichead and non-Droichead schools that wish to come together as Droichead shared learning networks. Such Droichead networks will engage in a range of activities to support shared learning and collaboration. Although the Council does not intend to prescribe the activities in which a school must engage in order to be eligible, it does suggest that networks are likely to involve meetings between principals and staff of network schools, sharing resources and templates, observations by NQTs of teachers in other network schools, etc.

This bursary will be paid in a similar manner to the research bursary that supported the pilot phase; i.e., schools need to confirm their participation in a network with other schools, but no further paperwork will be required by the Council.  Droichead networks may vary in size from two schools to networks of four or more. Each network must include at least one Droichead school, schools can be cross-sectoral and there is a maximum of €2,000 per network.

Relevant application forms are now available to download here.

 Find out more about Droichead

Panel of External PST members

A principal may wish to establish a Droichead Professional Support Team (PST) comprised of internal school staff and one external PST member. A panel of external trained PST members can be accessed by contacting the National Induction Programme for Teachers.

Schools interested in collaborating with an external PST member should note the following:

  1. At a cluster meeting of Droichead schools, the Chair of the meeting, usually a member of the NIPT, requests expressions of interest from trained PST members who may wish to work as external PST members in other schools.  Based on these expressions of interest, a panel is created for each region, and managed by the NIPT.
  2. If a principal in a Droichead school wishes to appoint an external PST member to the school’s team, he/she should contact NIPT, who will provide the list of external PST panel members within that region and follow-up support to the school.
  3. Once the external PST member’s appointment is confirmed and agreed, it is then up to the Droichead school to work out how the external PST member will engage with the process at school level. The roles and responsibilities of each PST member and the principal may vary in different school contexts, and are therefore agreed before the Droichead process commences. Supporting a newly qualified teacher during Droichead is always a collaborative process.
  4. An external PST member usually visits the school a number of times for professional conversations with the other PST members and the NQT, and to engage in classroom observation and feedback. 
  5. In line with Droichead policy, the PST member(s) who will make the recommendation to the Teaching Council in relation to the removal of the Droichead condition is decided at school level.

ESRI Interim Report on Droichead – Preliminary findings

Updated 2 November, 2015

The Teaching Council is pleased to publish the preliminary findings from the ESRI's research on the Droichead process to date. The preliminary findings are set out in the working paper which is available here. This offers a useful opportunity for all stakeholders to reflect on the process as the Council works towards finalising the Droichead policy in March 2016. A summary of the preliminary findings is available here.

It is noteworthy that the preliminary research findings support much of the feedback received directly from schools to date – that the process has clear potential to have a beneficial impact on all teachers in Droichead schools, not just Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) or members of the PSTs (Professional Support Teams). In that light, the Council would like to take this opportunity to thank all teachers and schools who have participated in the process to date for helping to shape an exciting new development for the teaching profession in Ireland.

The preliminary findings also indicate that Droichead takes place within the broader context of formal and informal collaboration within the school. This is further evidence of how Droichead provides a formal statutory acknowledgement for the support and guidance that many teachers have given their newly qualified colleagues for years.

While the final ESRI report has yet to be completed, the preliminary findings are encouraging. In this light, the Council is of the view that with the appropriate resources and support, the confirmation of Droichead as the route of induction for all NQTs could be achieved in a three year timeframe. This would mark a five year period of development from the date of commencement of the pilot. However, key steps in ensuring this achievement will be the receipt and consideration of the final ESRI report and clarification of the resources and actions that will be necessary to grow the process sustainably in that timeframe.

As we work towards the approval of policy in March 2016, the Council will pay particular attention to the following issues:

  • The need to maintain and support all pathways for feedback and sharing learning between teachers, including the Shared Learning Days, so that the ongoing development of Droichead as the route of induction for all NQTs will continue to be informed by all teachers participating in the process. This will also offer continued reassurance to the profession regarding consistency of standards in the Droichead process.
  • The extent to which Droichead acknowledges and builds on the experience of NQTs who will have completed the extended programmes of initial teacher education e.g. B. Ed., PME.
  • The need to clarify the flexibility which schools have in implementing the Droichead process, while ensuring a high quality experience of guidance and support for NQTs.
  • The need to clarify how Droichead builds on the extended school placement of the programmes of teacher education, and also links in with the forthcoming framework for teachers’ learning, Cosán.
  • Clarification of the mechanisms by which release time can be accessed at both primary and post-primary level.

We look forward to further engagement with stakeholders in the next few months.

Teaching Council

21 October 2015