School Placement is a critical part of initial teacher education (ITE). It is first and foremost a space and time where student teachers learn to become teachers. It enables the student teacher to experience teaching and learning in a variety of contexts, and to participate in school life in a way that is structured and supported.
In consultation with my Department and the relevant stakeholders, the Teaching Council published a Guidance Note on School Placement 2020/2021 in August 2020. In the context of Covid-19, this Guidance Note sets out a clear and flexible framework for both Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and schools in relation to the planning and facilitation of school placement for the academic year 2020-2021.
It recognises a variety of sites of practice and learning in which school placement can be completed taking account of the sites of practice that emerged for teaching and learning following the closure of schools due to Covid-19 in March 2020. It also acknowledges that flexibility in terms of modes of assessment of student teachers by HEI tutors is necessary and outlines a range of feasible options that can be considered by HEIs.
The guidance allows for student teachers to continue or commence their school placement with a particular school during the current period of remote teaching and learning.