Teachers Defence Service

Teacher Inductions Legal Advice

Legal Representation in Teaching Cases in Northern Ireland Cases

Legal Representation for NI Teachers

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Teachers Defence Service represents teachers in General Teaching Council of Northern Ireland (GTCNI) Professional Conduct Inquiries and advises on teaching regulation and law more generally.

Below we summarise the main legislative provisions relating to appeals relating to Teacher Inductions. The article is not an exhaustive one. On other pages we provide additional guidance on how you might prepare your defence or mitigation case for a professional conduct matter. If you would like assistance with the preparation of your induction appeal, do get in touch with us.

All newly qualified teachers (NQT) once registered with the GTCNI are required to complete Induction and early professional development (EPD) in Northern Ireland.

Induction normally takes one school year to complete.  During this stage, an NQT is required to engage in competence based professional development and present evidence of this in a portfolio. The requirements for Induction can be found at section 4 of The Teacher Education Partnership Handbook 2010

The portfolio will show evidence of ongoing professional development and reflective practice during Induction. This will include two action plans, mapped against appropriate GTCNI teacher competences, with supporting evidence which relate directly to teaching. 

The employer is responsible for notifying the GTCNI when the teacher has successfully completed the Induction period. The teacher, the Education Authority and the EPD team will also be notified in writing.

The decision in regard to unsuccessful completion of Induction will be taken by the Board of Governors, on the recommendation of the principal, taking advice, if necessary, from the partnership with the Education and Library Boards and Higher Education Institutions, as appropriate.

At section 4.4.3 of The Teacher Education Partnership Handbook 2010, a teacher who has failed to complete induction successfully will be one who:

  • is lacking in the underlying qualities and values;
  • has made little progress in clarifying and addressing the teacher competences and core values for the induction phase;
  • has been unsuccessful in meeting induction targets; and
  • has made little progress in the ability to discuss and evaluate his/her teaching in terms of learning outcomes for pupils.

On the summative report the teacher is recommended for a further period of Induction, usually one term. The school draws up and implements another action plan and monitors and evaluates progress. At the end of the term the school either:

  1. completes a summative report and signs off the beginning teacher as having successfully completed Induction; or
  2. if insufficient progress has been made, completes a summative report drawing together the areas of strength and highlighting the areas of concern against the unsuccessful completion of Induction criteria. This means the beginning teacher enters the unsatisfactory teachers’ process. Where a teacher is unsuccessful in Induction the normal procedures for unsatisfactory teachers are implemented.

Under the procedure a sub- committee of the Board of Governors will decide on the evidence if there needs to be a support programme put in place. The teacher will be invited to a meeting to agree the support programme. If at the end of the support programme, the recommendation is that the teacher’s work has not reached the required standard and it has not been possible to agree redeployment arrangements, then the Board of Governors should inform the teacher accordingly in writing and advise him or her that it is proposing making a determination that the teacher’s employment be terminated on the grounds of capability in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 2, paragraph 5, of the Education (NI) Order 1998

However, once Induction is completed the teacher will move to the next stage of training, the EPD stage. All teachers who have completed Induction are required to register for EPD with their education and library board.

EPD normally takes two years to complete. EPD is not optional but an essential part of further training and professional development in which all teachers are required to participate.

EPD is designed to build upon progressive development towards being a competent teacher. EPD requirements are set out in section 5 of The Teacher Education Partnership Handbook 2010. 

Successful completion of each stage of EPD will be jointly agreed and affirmed by the beginning teacher and the school. The Board of Governors will, on the recommendation of the principal, confirm successful completion of the EPD stage.

See also our article on Induction Appeals

Our Services

We can provide advice and guidance, or advocacy services (including representation at hearings), if instructed, to assist you in dealing with this regulator. Our fees are competitive. Give us a call on 020 3012 0402 without obligation and in strict confidence to see how we can assist you. Or, use our Contact Form.

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