The Teaching Council is the statutory body with responsibility for professional standards at all stages of the teaching career. It has established standards for post-qualification professional practice, as set out in Droichead, the new model of induction and probation for newly qualified primary and post-primary teachers.
The Council has advised me that the Droichead bursary scheme, which operated as part of the Droichead growth phase until the end of the 2017/2018 school year, has not been authorised for the current school year, and that it is actively considering how best to support cultures of shared learning in the teaching profession, as outlined in its Strategic Plan 2018-2020. This includes how any such supports could support collaborative professionalism and innovation across the continuum of teacher education.
The Council provides many supports already through the CROÍ Research Series (Collaboration and Research for Ongoing Innovation), which includes free webinars and e-zines on a range of topics for schools. It also includes the John Coolahan Research Support Framework, through which the Council allocates up to €100,000 per annum to support teachers’ engagement with and in research. It hosts the annual Festival of Education in Learning and Teaching Excellence (FÉILTE) attended by almost 1,000 people each year.
The Council is keen to ensure that any additional funding which it may approve to support collaborative professionalism would leverage these and other resources in the system to be of maximum benefit to all teachers and learners.