Govt to introduce support network for new teachers

The Government is introducing new measures to improve the standard of teacher training.

Tanaiste Mary Coughlan says newly qualified teachers are to be provided with a special support network to help boost teacher quality.

Student teachers - who take part in the new induction programme - will have to complete a 20 hour course to improve standards.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Minister Coughlan the new scheme will benefit both teachers and pupils.

"There is significant evidence from different jurisdictions that the putting in place of effective arrangements for the induction and probation of newly qualified teachers can make a significant contribution to the quality of the teaching profession," Minister Coughlan said.

"As with any aspect of human behaviour, it is in a teacher’s first months and year in post that they will develop the techniques and habits that will stay with them for the duration of their careers – it is a critical period for any young professional, including the teacher."

The Tánaiste said teachers will be required, at a minimum, to satisfactorily complete an approved induction programme as part of a new probationary process.

Details of the new policy structure will be worked out between now and September 2012 when it will come into force.

"As a precursor to this, a new induction support programme is to be made available to all primary teachers qualifying from September of this year and to all new post-primary teachers as soon as possible in the new school year," Minister Coughlan said.

The programme will be delivered through a variety of modes in education centres or other suitable locations in out-of-school time for approximately 20 hours over the course of the school year.

"The reform is an important one that should assist teachers overcome challenges and problems they face in adjusting to the classroom dynamic," Minister Coughlan said.


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