What is the first thing a Beginning Teacher should do when qualified and before commencing his/her teaching career?
The BT must register with the:
- General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI)
- Education Authority
- Northern Ireland Substitute Teachers Register (NISTR)
Full details of the process are outlined in the Teacher Education Partnership Handbook (August 2010 version)
Induction is the first stage of a teacher’s professional development and is ideally completed in his/her first year of teaching.
‘The overall aim of Induction is to continue to address the GTCNI Competences and Core Values and to encourage the Beginning Teacher to develop their critical reflective practice in order to improve their teaching and the quality of pupil learning which … will not be fully developed during Initial Teacher Education.’ (Teacher Education Partnership Handbook, Section 4.1)
A programme of centre and, where appropriate, school-based professional development is provided to Beginning Teachers by the Education Authority’s Induction and EPD Team aimed at supporting their successful completion of the core requirements of Induction. This is the first step in the process of reflective professional learning and is the beginning of career-long professional development. The programme is supplemented by online information and resources from the Education Authority’s website.
Where a BT does not have the opportunity to complete Induction in one school, the following applies:
- The BT compiles their Induction portfolio with the required evidence, (Action Plan 1, CPD records, extra-curricular evidence, where appropriate) and the Teacher Tutor’s completed ‘Interim Review Report’
- The BT presents this evidence to the second (and any subsequent) school and, with the school’s agreement, continues the process, completing Action
Plan 2 and including it with further CPD and extra-curricular evidence in their portfolio, in order to complete the Induction stage. When ready, the ‘Summative Report on Induction’ will be completed by the second or further school, which will also take responsibility for signing the teacher off Induction by completing and sending the ‘Letter of Successful Completion of Induction’ to the GTCNI.
* BTs should refer to Appendix 1 for further advice on what to do if not in full time employment
Can a Beginning Teacher complete the Northern Ireland Induction process if he/she is: (a) outside the UK jurisdiction; or (b) outside the statutory school setting?
- Outside the UK jurisdiction - A BT who qualifies in Northern Ireland but who takes up a teaching position in a school outside the United Kingdom, cannot complete the Northern Ireland Induction process or its GB equivalent unless the British/International school is ‘OFSTED-approved.’ This is clarified in the 1DfE publication ‘Induction for Newly Qualified Teachers (England)’, which states (p 9) that “Induction can be served in an independent school overseas which:
- has been inspected by a DfE-accredited inspectorate within the last six years against the Standards for Inspection of British Schools Overseas; and
- has satisfactorily met all of those standards/categories; and
- is a member of an organisation which the DfE has determined may represent such schools”
- Outside statutory school setting - A BT who qualifies in Northern Ireland but who teaches in any of the following contexts during their first year of teaching cannot complete the Northern Ireland Induction process.
- Homework Centres
- Private schools not delivering the NI Curriculum
- Charities e.g. Barnardos
- Home Tutor Roles
- Vocational/Training programmes
- Voluntary Playgroups
- Further Education Colleges
However, for both outside the UK and outside statutory school settings, it is advised that the Beginning Teacher:
- familiarises him/herself with the requirements of the Northern Ireland Induction process on the Education Authority’s website
- keeps their knowledge and understanding of the Northern Ireland Curriculum up-to-date through background reading and research
- maintains a portfolio of evidence of reflective practice while teaching outside the UK or outside the statutory school setting within Northern Ireland. Should he/she later return to Northern Ireland and/or to mainstream teaching, it will be at the discretion of the employing school as to whether or not this evidence will contribute to the completion of his/her Induction portfolio
What arrangements should apply to Beginning Teachers who have not completed Induction in the last country in which employed?
The teacher is required to complete the Northern Ireland Induction process.
Can a teacher who trains in NI and whose first year of teaching is in GB, complete Induction there during that year?
Yes the teacher can do so, as England, Scotland and Wales operate similar arrangements for Induction. However, it is important that the teacher presents formal documentation to confirm successful completion of the equivalent Induction stage upon their return to Northern Ireland.
What arrangements apply to those Newly Qualified Teachers who trained in Great Britain but whose first year of teaching is in Northern Ireland?
A BT who qualifies in other parts of the UK but whose first year of teaching is in Northern Ireland is required to complete the Northern Ireland Induction process.
The Teacher Education Partnership Handbook, available from the Department of Education’s website and the Education Authority’s Induction and EPD website, outlines the role of the Board of Governors of a school in confirming, on the recommendation of the Principal, when the Beginning Teacher has successfully completed the core requirements of Induction and may commence Early Professional Development.
How will the next school know that the Induction stage has been completed in Northern Ireland or Great Britain, especially if some time elapses between periods of employment?
The Principal should ask the teacher to present their copy of the ‘letter to confirm the successful completion of Induction’ which will have been signed on behalf of the Board of Governors in the school where Induction was undertaken. The Principal can also seek confirmation from the GTCNI, 3rd Floor, Albany House, 73-75 Great Victoria Street, Belfast. In the event of a teacher returning to NI having completed their first year of teaching in England, Scotland or Wales, the teacher is required to present formal documentation to confirm successful completion of the equivalent Induction stage.
Yes. It is the school’s and Teacher Tutor’s responsibility to send a copy of the letter confirming the teacher’s successful completion of Induction to the GTCNI, 3rd Floor, Albany House, Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7AF. In addition, the school should retain a copy for its records and provide the teacher with a copy of the letter.
Records for teachers who completed Induction prior to September 2009, are held by Teachers’ Salaries and Administration Branch of the Department of Education, Waterside House, 75 Duke Street, Londonderry, BT47 6FP.
No. However, it is recommended that BTs engage with and complete the stage as soon as is possible and practicable. Teachers should also note that before being eligible for the upper pay scale, they must have completed Induction, EPD Year 1, EPD Year 2 and two further cycles of PRSD.
The Induction portfolio should act as a bridge to EPD. Areas for development highlighted in the Induction Summative Report may be used to inform the target setting process for the EPD Professional Development Activities.
The current Beginning Teacher programme has been in place since 1996 when it was outlined in the paper, ‘Arrangements for Initial Teacher Education in Northern Ireland from 1 September 1996.’ The paper set out 5 areas of competence which underpinned the 3 stages of teacher education from the start of the 1996/97 academic year. The Induction stage was introduced at the start of the 1997/98 academic year and the arrangements for Early Professional Development (EPD) commenced at the start of the 1998/99 academic year.
In 2007, the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) revised the teacher competences and published them in ‘Teaching: the Reflective Profession’. These competences now underpin the Beginning Teacher Programme and the Continuing Teacher Education Programme in Northern Ireland.
Learning Leaders: A strategy for teacher professional learning was published by the Department of education in N Ireland in 2016 setting out a strategy where every teacher is a learning leader from beginning teacher throughout their career.
The 3 main stages of Teacher Education are:
- Initial Teacher Education
- Induction - the first year of teaching
- Early Professional Development
- EPD Year 1 (normally the second year of teaching)
- EPD Year 2 (normally the third year of teaching)
The integrated approach to Teacher Education aims to provide Beginning Teachers with a more holistic experience in order that they may continue to develop as critical reflective practitioners, improve their teaching and the quality of pupil learning, and may see their ongoing professional development as part of a lifelong learning process. The integrated approach also enhances the collaborative partnership between the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the Education Authority and the schools. The GTCNI competences which underpin all three stages are framed to encourage teachers to focus appropriately on aspects of their practice through the key stages of their career.
A professional partnership exists between the schools, the Induction and EPD team of the Education Authority, the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and, where appropriate, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), the Controlled
Schools Support Council (CSSC), the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) and Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta (CnaG). All partners contribute in a flexible and collaborative way to the provision of an integrated programme of teacher education with the aim of providing professional support to Beginning Teachers. While all partners are involved at each of the 3 stages
- the HEIs are the lead body at the Initial Teacher Education stage
- the Induction and EPD team of the Education Authority is the lead body at the Induction stage
- the schools are the lead body at the EPD stage
The teacher competence model, described in the GTCNI’s publication, ‘Teaching: The Reflective Profession’, underpins all 3 stages of teacher education and career-long professional development (CLPD). This document sets out the competences, which student teachers and qualified teachers develop throughout their careers, under 5 areas of professional practice:
- Professional Values & Practices
- Professional Knowledge and Understanding
- Professional Skills and Application in Planning & Leading
- Professional Skills and Application in Teaching & Learning
- Professional Skills and Application in Assessment
A Career Entry Profile (CEP), or GB equivalent, is a professional document profiling the strengths and developmental needs of the graduating teacher and involves:
- identifying needs
- selecting goals
- setting targets which will help to meet goals
- agreeing action
- reviewing action
- recording progress and achievement
The CEP, or equivalent, serves to encourage Beginning Teachers to develop a reflective approach to their professional development as well as act as a bridging document from Initial Teacher Training to Induction. The process of reflective professional learning is the beginning of Career Long Professional Development (CLPD). The Principal, and/or the Teacher Tutor, will require access to the CEP in order to guide the Beginning Teacher. The CEP does not form part of the appointment process.
Professional development is also available to new Teacher Tutors. Online resources are available from the Education Authority’s website.
The role of the Teacher Tutor is to guide and support the Beginning Teacher through successful completion of the Induction and EPD stages and to coordinate the Beginning Teacher programme within school. The Teacher Tutor role is set out in the Teacher Education Partnership Handbook on the Department of Education’s website and also further explained, with supporting resources, in the Education Authority’s ‘Teacher Tutor Resource Book’ which is available from the Education Authority’s website.
Are there circumstances in which a teacher may not successfully complete the Induction and EPD stages?
If the school deems that sufficient progress is not being made, the areas of concern will be highlighted in the ongoing Principal and Teacher Tutor reports. The school will recommend a further period of Induction with support. If no improvement is evident, the Beginning Teacher (as for any teacher) should be advised in writing by the Principal that the procedure for ‘Promoting Effective Teaching’ (DE TNC Circular 2013-14) is being initiated by the school governors.