Members of the INTO have rightly voted not to participate in Droichead in its current format and the CEC have issued a directive to members “not to co-operate with/participate in Droichead with effect from 1 July 2016.”
The INTO action is taken as a result of the following emergency motion passed at Congress 2016
- rejects the “Droichead, An Integrated Induction Framework for Newly Qualified Teachers” document published in March 2016;
- demands that mentoring of NQTs is properly resourced, funded and remunerated;
- further demands that probation/induction of all NQTs be evaluated externally through a panel of seconded teachers and/or principals funded by the DES; and
- instructs the CEC to ballot all members on a directive not to participate in, or cooperate with, Droichead or any form of probation/induction as part of the Teaching Council registration process that does not include fully external evaluation for all NQTs with effect from 1 July 2016.”
I was proud to propose that motion on behalf of my branch and district.
There is now an industrial relations issue to be sorted out between INTO, the Teaching Council and the DES. As a member of the Teaching Council, and within the INTO, I will be working to ensure that the issues at stake are dealt with urgently.
For most NQTs, there will be no immediate impact as in 2016/17 they will be able to complete their probation via the traditional route of completing 100 days service and successfully passing inspection by a DES inspector.
However the Droichead document states that “From September 2016, Droichead will be the sole route of induction and probation for NQTs in special schools and classes and resource”. This means that NQTs in those settings will not, as things stand, be able to complete ‘restricted recognition’ probation as they were heretofore.
However this does not have to be the case. There is a simple solution. The Teaching Council and the DES inspectorate have made a decision to have Droichead as ‘the sole route of induction and probation’ in special education settings in 2016/17. They can just as easily decide to reverse this decision and allow NQTs in these settings to complete ‘restricted recognition’ probation this year in the same way as was possible in previous years.
It is imperative that the INTO makes immediate contact with both the Teaching Council and the DES demanding that this be facilitated while our directive remains in place and while the rollout of Droichead has been halted as a result of that industrial action.
In the meantime, NQTs who have been offered or signed contracts for special education settings (including Resource Teaching in mainstream schools) should take up their positions and should apply for restricted recognition probation. They should then contact INTO through head office (1850 708 708) and through their local branches asking that INTO contact the Teaching Council and DES to allow them to access restricted recognition probation.
For support and help in organising on this issue contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my facebook page ‘Gregor Kerr For INTO President’