Resourcing of the Droichead programme - an update

By piofficer, Monday, 23rd July 2018 | 0 comments

Further to recent discussions between the TUI and the Department of Education and Skills in relation to the resourcing of the Droichead programme, the Department made the proposal, as set out below, to the TUI.


With effect from the 2018/2019 academic year: 


  • The Department proposes to allocate hours to schools following an application by the school to the NIPT.  This can be done at any time - either before the commencement of the school year or during the school year when a school employs one or more NQTs undertaking Droichead.  If school management is aware of the number of NQTs in its school at the start of the academic year, the resourcing as set out below can (and should) be provided on an allocation basis.  Schools can claim any balance through the substitution scheme.


  • The total quantum of hours available for the PST team is set out below.  The text in italics is TUI’s instruction to members on how schools should distribute the hours. Schools that use the allocation model should assign the time remission from timetable on a rotational basis i.e. one member of the PST team is timetabled for mentoring during the 2018/2019 academic year and another member of the PST team receives the allocation in the 2019/2020 academic year and so on.
1 – 2 NQTs   22 hours   One class period of 40 minutes per week  

(on an allocation basis)

3 – 4 NQTs      28 hours  One class period of 40 minutes per week

(on an allocation basis)

+ 6 hours per year on a substitution basis.

The additional 6 hours could be provided to a subject specialist, for example, the subject that the NQT is qualified in, or provided to other members of the PST.

5 – 6 NQTs  34 hours 

One class period of 40 minutes per week

(on an allocation basis)

+ 12 hours per year on a substitution basis (as set out above)

7 NQTs  40 hours       One class period of 40 minutes per week

(on an allocation basis)

+ 18 hours per year on a substitution basis (as set out above)

8+ NQTs     44 hours         

2 x 40 minute class periods per week



  • Training release time, with substitute cover, of 4 days will continue to be provided to the members of the PST team and this time will be in addition to the resources as set out above.

The Department proposes to review resourcing of Droichead when Droichead is the sole route of induction in all schools i.e. the end of the 2020/2021 academic year.  However, the Department will discuss with the TUI any significant issues that may arise in the meantime during the continued roll-out period.

Although the above resources, in our view, are not fully sufficient, they are an advance on what was initially offered and should be viewed as an intermediate step during the phased roll-out of Droichead.  It is important to note that the allocation model is being provided to schools which will mean that any hours that become available on timetable can be allocated to part-time teachers in the first instance.

We have legitimate concerns that a major initiative (Droichead) has a large dependence on the goodwill of teachers.  It is our view that the Droichead model is considerably under-resourced and that, as more schools move into the stage whereby it is mandatory to engage in Droichead (i.e. between Sept 2018 and Sept 2020), this will become more apparent to both the Department of Education and Skills and the Teaching Council. 

Evidence, to date, has shown that teachers who were initially enthusiastic about becoming engaged as mentors are now withdrawing from the process. 

The 2018/2019 academic year will see a significant increase in the number of schools required to operate Droichead.  From September 2018, Droichead is the route of induction for NQTs in SEN settings and in medium-sized and large post-primary schools with 400 or more students.  Given the level of resourcing offered and the level of volunteerism required, TUI has concerns about the long-term sustainability of the process. 

However, as an interim advance, the TUI Executive Committee, at its meeting on the 29th June 2018, agreed to continue to co-operate with the Droichead programme for as long as the resources set out above permit.

The TUI will, as a necessary measure, closely monitor the roll-out of Droichead in our schools.

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