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Droichead Ballot – Reasons to Vote Yes

(Please Note this article is attached as a 2-page word document at the end.  Please consider printing it off and distributing it to your staff)

Reasons to Vote Yes in the Droichead Ballot

 

This document looks at the Droichead “positives” and “negatives”, (based on the recent INTO Eolas and accompanying FAQs) and after considering both asks you to vote YES for a Directive against Droichead.

 

You will be asked to vote on this CEC wording – Do you agree to participate in industrial action, with effect from 1 July 2016, in the form of a directive to be issued by the Central Executive Committee on non-cooperation 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?

                               Positives                                           Negatives
There has been a re-focus of Droichead to induction rather than probation.  

A change of name from probation to induction changes nothing for INTO members who have steadfastly spoken out against Droichead and CEPP before it. Teachers are not willing to judge / be responsible for our NQT colleagues’ ability to teach.

 

The recognition of SEN settings for full registration meaning that service in special schools, learning support, resource posts and a combination of resource and learning support would be recognised for full registration and eligibility for panel rights on the same basis as service in mainstream classes. We do not need Droichead to achieve this. The Teaching Council can recognise such service for full registration without Droichead.
A reduction in the service requirement to one block of 60 days from 100/120 days recognising the 50 day school placement undertaken by student teachers in the extended teacher education courses.  

This is a misleading claim. The block of 60 days is the “absolute minimum” and there is no guarantee that an NQT will complete their “induction” within 60 days. To quote page 6 of the Teaching Council’s own recent document on Droichead: “Ideally, the NQT will undertake the Droichead process for the duration of the time that they are in the position recognised for the Droichead process” …”It should be noted that these are absolute minimum periods of practice and the Council believes that, where the period of an NQT’s practice in a school exceeds those thresholds, it is advisable to defer the making of a recommendation until nearer the end of their time at the school.”

 

A reduction in the requirement for NQTs to attend NIPT cluster meetings from 10 to 3.  

Again, we don’t need Droichead for this. The Teaching Council can reduce the NIPT requirements without Droichead.

 

The removal of any obligation on the Principal, any staff member or any mentor to “sign off” on the NQT and the retention of an external panel for “sign off” for Droichead schools.  

Again, this is misleading.

The Principal must be a member of the Professional Support Team (PST).

The Principal is responsible for establishing the PST.

All members of the PST (that means the Principal too) must interact with the NQT during the Droichead process.

The PST decides if the NQT is “ready” to progress to the next phase of induction.

The Principal must discuss the Droichead process with the Droichead Quality Assurance (DQA) panel.

The Principal is the one who must ensure that the Droichead process has been properly conducted – is that not “signing off”?

Other staff members / mentors are given serious extra workload and responsibility for no reward.

The Principal may establish a PST of internal school staff and one external PST member. There are still internal staff involved in this option. The Principal is still involved.

If it is acceptable to have external members, why not let all members of the PST be external? Why not second Teachers to do this work and pay them properly for it?

 

 

For the coming year NQTs who meet the normal service requirements of 100/120 days in mainstream classes can apply to Limerick Education Centre to have their competence verified by an inspector. They will also have to meet induction requirements.

 

– If we vote YES in this ballot, NQTs can be probated as normal.
NQTs who begin work in special schools, special classes or in special education settings will not have access to probation. This means that teachers will not be able to complete full registration is these settings. In this context, they will remain unable to access the supplementary panel.  

– The Council’s Droichead document states: “other than in exceptional circumstances, schools should employ NQTs in a mainstream setting” and in a case where an NQT is employed in a special class, in a special school, or in Resource or Learning Support positions the school should “endeavour that there are opportunities for the NQT to teach in a mainstream setting which would include the teaching and learning of Gaeilge.”  Therefore, Droichead may or may not mean NQTs in special settings will have access to probation. It is unclear.

– We can lobby the INTO and the Teaching Council to allow NQTs in special settings to be probated. It shouldn’t be too hard to achieve, because on 4/1/2016, the Teaching Council already announced the granting of full registration to teachers probated in a restricted setting starting in September 2016.

 

Teachers can mentor NQTs through Droichead.  

Teachers have always mentored NQTs and can continue to do it without Droichead.

 

Droichead is intended to replace probation currently carried out by the DES Inspectorate.  

– Droichead attempts to move probation (induction) over to Teachers, but not to pay Teachers for this extra work.

– Droichead attempts to move probation (induction) from paid (the Inspectorate) to unpaid (Teachers) work.

– Droichead frees up the DES Inspectorate to surprise Teachers with sudden inspections.

– Droichead is bound to have negative implications for staff relations.

– Principals fear the next step will be Principals having to sign off on all staff (perhaps annually) for Teachers to retain registration / be paid increments.

 

Under the Teaching Council Act, the Teaching Council is required to make arrangements for the induction/probation of NQTs.  

The Council can make arrangements for the induction / probation of NQTs without increasing the workload of serving Teachers. The answer is simple – provide an external team through seconding Teachers to replace the DES Inspectorate for the purposes of probation / induction.

 

The Council developed Droichead and piloted it in a number of schools on a voluntary basis since 2013.  

During Congress 2016, the majority of Principals present who took part in the Droichead pilot warned against it.

 

Droichead is for the benefit of NQTs  

During Congress 2016, the vast majority of NQTs who spoke about Droichead were against it.

NQTs will be forced to implement Droichead (unpaid) over a long career, as part of their job, if we agree to it now.

 

Teachers who complete Droichead can be fully registered with the Teaching Council.  

Teachers who do not complete Droichead can be fully registered with the Teaching Council.

 

From September, 2016 Droichead will be the only route to registration for NQTs in special schools and classes and resource and would be available to teachers in Learning Support and Learning Support/ Resource posts.

From September 2017, Droichead will be the only route to registration for NQTs in large schools.

From September, 2018 Droichead will be the route to registration for all new teachers.

New members have now been elected to the Teaching Council. Together with INTO, our TC Reps can work to change any deadlines of Droichead in its current form.

We (and the Teaching Council) can use this interim time to organise external methods of probation / induction.

 

During Congress 2016, this motion was overwhelmingly supported by INTO members –

Congress:

  1. rejects the Droichead, An Integrated Induction Framework for Newly Qualified Teachers document published in March 2016;
  2. demands that mentoring of NQTs is properly resourced, funded and remunerated;
  3. 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
  4. 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.

INTO members have consistently rejected Droichead and CEPP before it.

Please vote YES in this ballot to issue a Directive against Droichead.reasons-to-vote-yes-in-the-droichead-ballot-7 (1)

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