The National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT) supports the induction of newly qualified teachers (NQTs), both primary and post-primary, into the teaching profession in Ireland.
Purpose: To support the professional growth of teachers during the induction phase
Vision: Quality induction for every teacher
Motto: To ask for support is a sign of strength
The main objective of induction is towards promoting the professional development of NQTs by way of systematic support in their first year of teaching, thus laying the foundations for subsequent professional growth and development. Wong, (2004) describes induction as:
"a comprehensive, coherent, and sustained professional development process aimed to train, support and retain new teachers and represents the first part of a lifelong professional development programme".
The NIPT provide five pillars of support, see below.
A key characteristic of the programme is the support for NQTs by trained Professional Support Teams (PST) and mentors at school level. The PST nominated by their schools, are fully probated, experienced teachers (minimum of 5 years teaching experience). While a whole school approach to the induction of NQTs is promoted, the role of the PST and NIPT mentor within the whole school context is crucial to the support of the newly qualified teacher. NQTs value and acknowledge the importance of having 'someone there for them' in their first year of teaching. The Professional Support Team and mentor are experienced teachers the NQT can turn to for personal, professional and pedagogical support throughout that crucial first year.
NQTs participating in the programme value the following school school-based induction activities: meetings with the NIPT Mentor or Professional Support Team, planning time, observation of other teachers teaching, linking with the National Services, observation and feedback and other related induction activities. Professional development for NQTs, PSTs and NIPT mentors is also provided throughout the year.
It is widely acknowledged that building strong professional learning communities through programmes such as the Induction Programme will benefit schools as learning organisations in the long-term.
The National Induction Programme for Teachers is managed by the Droichead Induction Planning Group. 'Creating a structure that allows experienced teachers to work with novice teachers and that acknowledges their expertise will ultimately strengthen the overall organisation, including retaining good practitioners in the classroom.' (Teachers Matter OECD 2005)