- The revised policy makes explicit the nature of Droichead as a non-evaluative professional induction process. This means that neither principals, school colleagues nor external school colleagues will be engaged in the evaluation of NQTs for registration purposes. At the conclusion of the process the NQT and the Professional Support Team make a joint declaration that they have engaged in a quality teaching and learning process.
- There is considerable flexibility in the revised policy vis-à-vis the role of principals, the way in which the model can operate in different schools, the size of the professional support team (PST), and the use of an external PST member to act as a mentor where necessary.
- It acknowledges the extended programmes of Initial Teacher Education.
- A revised and strengthened quality assurance process.
- It provides that JobBridge or any other similar internship schemes cannot be used to access the Droichead programme.
- An extended growth phase whereby Droichead will be the route of induction for all NQTs by the 2020/2021 school year.
In adopting the revised policy, the Council recognises that the implementation of Droichead involves a substantial input from the teaching profession and the National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT). In that context, I am pleased to advise that the resources to support the growth of Droichead, and ensure its viability and success, have been confirmed by the Department. These include:
- Four days' release time with paid substitution to allow Professional Support Team members to attend NIPT training.
- A minimum of four days' release time to facilitate schools in supporting NQTs as part of Droichead.
- Additional release time for schools with multiple NQTs.
- Follow-up professional development opportunities.
- Additional resources to allow the NIPT to support schools wishing to engage in the process.
For further information in relation to the updated Droichead policy, please see the updated version of the policy which is available here, the Droichead form including the joint declaration by the PST and the NQT, the revised and strengthened Droichead Quality Assurance procedures and answers to Frequently Asked Questions here. Transitionary arrangements will also be published on the Council's website to give guidance to teachers who commenced fulfilling their post-qualification practice conditions before the introduction of the 2017 Droichead policy.
We look forward to continuing to work closely with schools and stakeholders, with a view to ensuring that the growth of Droichead proceeds as smoothly and as effectively as possible.