The Teaching Council is the body with statutory responsibility for the registration of teachers in Ireland. Teachers are registered by the Council in accordance with the Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations 2009 or Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations 2016 as appropriate. A copy of these regulations and full details about how newly qualified and other teachers may apply to the Council for registration may be found on www.teachingcouncil.ie.
The Council has statutory responsibility for policy on post-qualification professional practice and must ensure that appropriate procedures and criteria are developed.
The Limerick Education Centre (LEC) administers the details of primary teachers who are in positions to complete their post-qualification professional practice on behalf of the Inspectorate of Department of Education & Skills.
The Teaching Council document pertaining to the post-qualification professional practice procedures and criteria for 2016/17 is available here.
The Teaching Council Transitionary Arrangements is available here.
Have you Questions?
Should you wish to contact Limerick Education Centre with any queries on completing your post-qualification professional practice through the traditional process with the Inspectorate, you can contact Jenny Delaney on 061 585060 ext 4 or email at email@example.com.
Probation for teachers in Non-Droichead Primary schools
To have his or her professional competence evaluated to satisfy the Council’s probation requirements, a teacher must make an application for inspection using the Form OP1.
Applications must be made electronically and as soon as a teacher commences service in a post that is eligible for probation and that will last for a period of at least 50 consecutive school days. The date on which LEC received a completed Form OP1 or the first date of employment, whichever is the later, will be used when determining the 50/100-day period. Every effort is made to ensure that all eligible teachers who make an application for inspection will be inspected in that school year. Teachers must be available for inspection on any day of the 50/100 day period.
From September 2016, teachers working in special education or restricted settings may avail of the Droichead process to gain full registration with the Council. Probation by the Inspectorate will only take place in the mainstream setting.
The criteria used in the inspection of the work of teachers for probationary and registration purposes in primary schools is outlined here.
The application form to register to complete the probationary process in a non-Droichead school from September 2017 is not available yet. Please check the website again from the middle of August onwards for more information.
Should you wish to contact Limerick Education Centre with any queries on Probation, you can contact Jenny Delaney on 061 585060 ext 4 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
A. FAQs relating to the Eligibility for Probation
What are the teaching positions that are recognised for the purposes of demonstrating the professional competence requirement for probation?
· From September 2016, a primary teacher will undertake the probationary process when employed as a mainstream class teacher in a non-Droichead setting in a primary school. As a general rule, employment in a permanent, temporary or substitute capacity is eligible, subject to the service requirements and where the teacher is teaching all 11 subjects of the Primary School Curriculum, including Irish, for the entire school day.
What are the teaching positions that are not recognised for the purposes of probation?
· Only teachers employed in mainstream class settings are eligible for inspection visits for the purpose of probation.
· No other settings are eligible for inspection visits. Teachers in other setting should contact the Teaching Council for clarification
When do you apply to Limerick Education Centre (LEC) for inspection visits using form OP1
Applications for inspection must be made electronically and as soon as the teacher commences service in a post that will last for a period of at least 50 consecutive school days in a mainstream post. The post must be in a mainstream setting to be eligible for inspection visits for the purpose of probation/registration in 2016/17. Every effort is made to ensure that all eligible teachers who make an application for inspection as soon as they commence service in such a position, will be inspected in that year. The Inspectorate will use the date on which LEC receives a completed OP1 form or the first date of employment, whichever is the later, when determining the 50/100-day period.
A closing date for receipt of applications will apply. Advance notice of the closing date will be posted on www.lec.ie in the second half of the school year. Applications for inspection visits will not be processed after the closing date. This closing date will be strictly adhered to.
Do you apply to Limerick Education Centre for inspection visits using form OP1, even though you may only have a month’s work?
No. An NQT should apply to Limerick Education Centre for inspection visits only if s/he will be in a recognised teaching position for 50/100 consecutive school days.
May a newly qualified teacher opt out of probation for a year?
No. Following registration with the Teaching Council, a teacher is conditionally registered, subject to satisfactory completion of a period of induction (and probation in the case of non-Droichead schools). Once conditionally registered with the Teaching Council, an NQT has three years within which to satisfactorily complete the registration process. While an NQT registered with the Teaching Council has three years in which to satisfactorily complete the registration process, s/he is required to register for inspection visits with the LEC, on commencement in an eligible position of sufficient duration.
If an NQT is subbing from school to school, should s/he inform Limerick Education Centre each time s/he moves school?
Where a teacher is employed in a substitute position and moves between schools after the end of the first 50 consecutive-day period, then a new application must be made to Limerick Education Centre using the Form OP1 to seek a second inspection visit.
Teachers who have submitted an application for inspection visits should contact Limerick Education Centre immediately if their position changes in any way, for example if there are changes made to the period of employment, such as the end date, or to the position held by the teacher in the school.
Can a teacher who sat his/her exams in May but did not get the results until September count the days s/he was subbing in June towards the service requirement?
No. The service requirement can only begin when a teacher is qualified and registered with the Teaching Council.
When is a teacher deemed qualified?
A teacher is deemed qualified on the date of receipt of successful results transcripts from the relevant Initial Teacher Education Provider.
Is a teacher eligible for inspection visits for the purpose of probation when teaching in a mixture of Learning-Support and Resource or learning support/resource and a mainstream class?
No. Only NQTs who are employed as mainstream class teachers can apply for inspection visits.
Can a teacher working in a resource setting be eligible for inspection visits for the purpose of probation by ‘borrowing’ a mainstream class for inspection visits?
No. The teacher must have full responsibility for teaching all areas of the primary school curriculum to the same cohort of pupils for 50/100 consecutive days to be eligible for inspection visits for the purpose of probation.
Can an NQT job-share in his/her probationary year?
An NQT is not eligible for inspection visits for the purpose of probation if assigned to a job-sharing position.
Is there a minimum number of pupils I need to have in my class in order to be eligible for probation?
In order to determine that NQTs have demonstrated satisfactory professional competence, inspectors evaluate their practice under four main headings, one of which is classroom management and organisation. Inspectors therefore need to evaluate the quality of the NQTs classroom management and organisation in mainstream classes. As a general guide, a mainstream class will normally have no fewer than 10 pupils.
B. FAQs relating to the Service Requirement for Probation
How much service do I need in order to meet the requirement for probation?
To meet the service requirement for probation, a primary teacher must secure employment in a primary school in a setting recognised for probationary purposes in a permanent, temporary or substitute capacity. The employment must comprise:
a) at least 100 consecutive days in a single class, or
b) at least 100 days, which may take place in separate settings in two periods of not less than 50 consecutive days each.
In either case, the period of employment must involve teaching the curriculum to the same cohort of pupils for the minimum block period.
Teachers must be available for inspection on any day of the 50/100 day period.
What teaching service will be recognised towards the 100 days’ service requirement for probation?
· Teachers who are eligible for inspection visits for the purpose of probation must have service as a teacher in a mainstream class. Teachers in other setting should contact the Teaching Council. or
· Service in a fee-charging primary school affiliated to the Irish Association of Independent Junior Schools.
What teaching service will not be recognised towards the 100 days’ service requirement for probation?
- Inspection visits for the purpose of probation will only be undertaken in mainstream primary school classes. Teachers must be in paid employment in mainstream settings.
- The Teaching Council does not recognise teaching on a voluntary basis in a school for the purpose of probation/induction.
- The Teaching Council does not recognise teaching service as an unqualified person (prior to the completion of a teacher education qualification).
Who is responsible for keeping a record of the teacher’s service?
It is the responsibility of the probationary teacher to obtain written evidence of his or her service from the employing school or schools, and to submit this record to the Teaching Council, to satisfy the Council regarding the completion of the service requirement. (See ‘Form C’ on www.teachingcouncil.ie.)
If I am teaching in a setting recognised for probationary purposes and have not applied to Limerick Education Centre for inspection visits, can this time count towards the service requirement?
Registration with probationary conditions is valid for a period of three years from the date of first registration with the Teaching Council. The Service Requirement and Professional Competence requirement run in conjunction with each other. It is during the 50/100 day period of service that the Department of Education & Skills’ Inspectorate evaluates the professional competence of the teacher. Teachers are therefore required to submit their application for inspection visits as soon as they commence service in an eligible post that will last for a period of at least 50 consecutive school days.
Teachers who do not complete the OP1 Form as soon as their 50/100 day contract commences cannot be guaranteed an inspection visit within that timeframe. The Inspectorate will use the date on which LEC receives a completed OP1 form or the first date of employment, whichever is the later, when determining the 50/100-day period.
C. FAQs relating to completing probation in a restricted setting
I have been offered a job in a restricted setting, can I complete probation?
Inspection visits for the purpose of probation will only be conducted when teachers are employed as a mainstream class teacher in a primary school. Teachers in other settings should contact the Teaching Council.
What happens if I have completed probation in a restricted setting in the school year 2015/16?
Teachers in such positions should contact the Teaching Council.
What is the situation where a teacher was in a mainstream class for one visit and is then employed in a resource or special education post?
Inspection visits for the purpose of probation will only be conducted when teachers are teaching in mainstream classes. Teachers in other settings should contact the Teaching Council.
If I was probated in a resource teaching setting last year and do not transfer to mainstream for a few years, is it possible then to apply for a supplementary visit?
Teachers in such positions should contact the Teaching Council.
D. FAQs relating to planning and preparation
How long do I have to complete my termly plans?
Planning and preparation is a continuous process. Planning and preparation should commence as soon as the NQT is appointed to a teaching post, regardless of whether the position they are teaching in is eligible for probation or not. The purpose of planning and preparation is to guide the teaching and learning, and the assessment and reporting process, in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for pupils.
Can my written plans be presented in electronic format?
Teachers’ plans and records are working documents which teachers need to have to hand on a day to day basis. Whether in hard copy or electronic format, plans and records must be available to an inspector whenever s/he visits the school. Planning documentation that is presented in electronic format should be:
· Made available to the inspector on a device (computer/laptop/tablet) that is available to the inspector on arrival in the classroom and for the duration of the classroom visit.
- Filed in a dedicated folder on the desktop (or through a direct link from the desktop/home screen). It should not be saved with a teacher’s personal files/folders or alongside a teacher’s personal or confidential documents.
· Clearly labelled. Each document should be appropriately titled and should indicate the subject area and dates to which it applies
For IT security reasons, it is not possible for inspectors to view planning on their own devices, even if it is available through the cloud or on a school’s local network, or on a USB key.
What guidance has been given on planning to probationary teachers?
No situation should arise where a probationary teacher is not aware of the requirements for planning.
Probationary teachers should receive guidance on how best to plan and prepare for their work in the classroom from school principals, mentors and other experienced teachers within the school setting. Guidance is also provided through the induction programme. Guidelines on planning are available in both Irish and English on the NIPT website: www.teacherinduction.ie
If I move to a new school/class in the second or third term, should my planning folder contain long/short term plans from the first term?
Yes, as this provides evidence of consistent and regular planning and preparation.
E. FAQs relating to Inspection visits and reports
In the case of an NQT who began the probationary process in a previous school year and had a first inspection visit, will the process start again from the beginning in the new school year, i.e. service requirement and professional competence requirement?
No. The process does not begin again. Previous inspections will be taken into account when deciding on the number of inspection visits necessary in the new post. For inspection visits to take place, a new OP1 form must be submitted to LEC. This should be done as soon as a teacher commences in a new eligible position eligible for probation. No more than two inspection visits will be conducted in any one school year.
Can I expect to receive a visit during the first period of 50 days?
An inspector can visit any time after an application for probation has been submitted. Reasonable account will be taken of the settling-in phase in a new class context. Teachers must be available for inspection visits on all of the 50/100 days. The school principal should communicate any NQT absences from school to the Inspector.
If my first visit does not go well and I really improve by the second visit could I then receive an overall satisfactory rating?
When the inspector visits, is it in order to have my mentor sit in on the feedback session?
Yes. The principal and/or mentor normally attend the feedback session, so that they are fully aware of the NQT’s strengths and areas for development.
What happens where the inspector has recommended that the NQT needs more time to develop and demonstrate his/her teaching skills? Does the process start all over again?
No. The probationary process continues. The decision regarding the number of inspection visits required (one or two visits) will be at the discretion of the inspector. Where the probationary period is extended beyond the normal service requirements, it is the responsibility of the teacher to take the necessary steps to complete the probation process immediately on commencing reckonable service in a school in the following school year. Where two inspection visits have already occurred in the school year, such teachers may not apply for an additional inspection visit within the same school year.
Following the successful completion of the professional competence and the service aspects of probation, what happens next?
The completion of the induction/probation period is subject to both service and professional competence requirements. For the 2016/17 school year, the service requirement for teachers in non-Droichead settings in primary schools is 100 days of teaching. The Inspectorate will provide the teacher with written confirmation (via email through LEC) that s/he has demonstrated satisfactory professional competence.
This statement of satisfactory completion of the professional competence requirement will be issued automatically by LEC, as soon as possible, after the required number of days have passed, based on the dates provided by the teacher on Form OP1.
Will the board of management get a copy of the Statement of Satisfactory Completion of the Professional Competence Requirement for Probation or the written inspection report?
No. Only the teacher receives a copy of the Statement of Satisfactory Completion of the Professional Competence Requirement for Probation, or the written inspector’s report, where relevant.
I have completed the service and professional competence requirements of probation. What next?
As soon as teachers have completed the service requirement and have received a statement of satisfactory completion of the professional competence requirement /recommendation for full registration from the Inspectorate of the Department of Education and Skills indicating that they have demonstrated satisfactory professional competence, they should notify the Teaching Council. This is done by completing the relevant form (available on the Teaching Council’s website) and sending it, along with a hard copy of the statement received by email from Limerick Education Centre, on behalf of the Inspectorate, to:
Registration (Primary), The Teaching Council, Block A, Maynooth Business Campus, Maynooth, Co Kildare. The Teaching Council will remove the condition of probation on teachers’ registration when they are satisfied that both service and professional competence requirements have been fully met.
F. General Questions
Is there a closing date for the submission of the OP1 form?
A closing date will apply to receipt of applications. Advance notice of the closing date will be posted on www.lec.ie in the second half of the school year. Applications for inspection visits will not be processed after the closing date. The closing date will be strictly adhered to.
I have been asked to host a student teacher during my probationary period. Is this permissible?
Is participation in the NIPT workshop programme compulsory for NQTs? How do I register to take part in the NIPT workshop programme?
What do I need to do to ensure I meet the Teaching Council registration requirements?
Full details of the requirements relating to registration with the Teaching Council are available at http://www.teachingcouncil.ie/registration-frequently-asked-questions/frequently-asked-questions-about-registration-and-renewal-of-registration-.200.html
Useful Information / Links
National Induction Programme for TeachersWeb - www.teacherinduction.ie
This website aims to provide information about the National Induction Programme and to support Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), mentors, principals and staff in their work with NQTs.
NIPT Workshop ProgrammeAs with previous years, the Induction Workshops are run by the NIPT through Education Centres. You should contact your local centre or visit the Association of Teachers’ / Education Centres in Ireland website (www.ateci.ie) for further information.
The Teaching Council (An Chomhairle Mhúinteoireachta)Web - www.teachingcouncil.ie
The Teaching Council is the professional body for teaching in Ireland. It was established on a statutory basis in March 2006 to promote teaching as a profession at Primary and Post-Primary levels; to promote the professional development of teachers; and to regulate standards in our profession.