Website Schools ETBs Training Centres


Notice From Teaching Council regarding Employment Of NQTs

Dear Principal,

In September 2017, the full implementation of Droichead, a new model of induction for newly qualified teachers commenced. For schools, this means that in cases where they employ NQTs, they need to ensure that NQTs are engaged in the correct process of induction that will lead to full registration for them. The purpose of this email is to help you in ensuring that you fulfil your responsibilities in this area to any NQTs you may employ in the next school year and during the growth phase of Droichead.

From September 2018 Droichead will be the only route of induction for NQTs in:

  • Special Education Needs settings in all schools,
  • primary schools where there are 16 or more mainstream teachers and
  • post-primary schools of 400 or more students.

Please note carefully whether your school is in any of these categories. Even if yours is a mainstream school that is not in the latter two categories, if you employ an NQT in an SEN setting, their only route of induction will be Droichead. Additionally if your school has already completed Droichead training and is offering the process to NQTs, Droichead will be their only route of induction.

Should your school fall into these categories, it is important to note that NQTs employed in your school will not be able to avail of the traditional processes of Probation (primary) or Post-qualification Employment (PQE) (post-primary). Currently the only exception to this is where a post-primary NQT has a contract of less than 200 hours in a post-primary school. In this situation, they can “bank” their time towards PQE.

Schools of any size may opt in to Droichead at any stage if they so wish.

It is important that you inform any NQTs you may employ of the requirements pertaining to induction before they commence employment in your school. There are different time requirements for Droichead, probation and PQE so NQTs need to be clear as to what is expected of them before they start teaching in your school.

Key information about Droichead

Droichead is an integrated professional induction framework for newly qualified teachers.

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. This integrated framework includes both school-based and additional professional learning activities to address the needs of teachers as they begin their careers. It is grounded in the belief that those best placed to support NQTs are experienced colleagues who have relevant and in-depth knowledge of teaching and learning in their respective schools. The school designates teachers to work together to form a Professional Support Team (PST) to support the NQT. If you wish to register for PST training, please click here or contact the National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT) on (01) 452 8020.

Resources available for schools to conduct Droichead

The Council recognises that the implementation of Droichead involves a substantial input from the teaching profession and NIPT. In that context, I am pleased to advise that the Department continues to provide resources to support the growth of Droichead, to ensure its viability and success. These include:

  • Four days’ release time with paid substitution to allow PST 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.

Full information about Droichead is available on the Council website, and also in the updated Post-Qualification Professional Practice Procedures and Criteria document which will be published on the website in advance of the new school year. There is also a Droichead ebook on our website where you can view short video clips where principals, teachers and NQTs talk about their experience of the Droichead process.

You may have questions of your own about the Droichead policy. If so you can find a list of FAQs on our website or you can contact or for further information.

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.

Please note that the above information has also been circulated by letter to all schools.

Le gach dea-mhéin

Tomás Ó Ruairc


Back to top