Thursday, 22 September 2022
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Leo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
I thank Deputy Fitzpatrick for raising this important issue, which is a matter of great interest to newly qualified teachers, in addition to school management and school communities. As teachers returned to their classrooms a few weeks ago to meet their students after the summer break, we were once again reminded of the significant and valuable role teachers play in our communities. For the first time in a long time, teachers and students returned to classrooms without the need for masks or social distancing. Teaching and learning returned, as did fun and laughter.
The Teaching Council is the body with responsibility for the profession. It has 37 members, 16 of whom are registered teachers elected by other teachers. It has established standards for post-qualification professional practice as set out in Droichead, an integrated professional induction framework for newly qualified primary and post-primary teachers. These standards have been developed with representatives of teachers and experts on teaching in order to continue to develop a very high-quality and qualified teaching workforce.
The Government is committed to ensuring that all graduating teachers maintain high levels of pedagogical and content knowledge in order to provide excellence in teaching and learning experiences for all students. The Droichead programme is an important part of that commitment. The main objective is to assist the professional learning of newly qualified teachers during the induction phase, thus laying the foundations for subsequent professional growth and learning for the next phase of their career.