Schools’ adaptions to the Covid–19 Crisis
The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) wishes to reassure teachers, the teaching unions and all local student teachers who have qualified this summer that it is working to maintain ‘business as usual,’ as far as is possible, including the registration process both for newly qualified teachers and those teachers renewing their registration. To this end, the GTCNI is in regular contact with the local Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the Department of Education (DE) to ensure that teachers are registered in good time for the new school year. GTCNI fully recognises the challenges faced by both final year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) and Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students and is supportive of the arrangements being put in place by the HEIs to ensure there is no disruption to the awards for teaching qualifications this year (2019/20) and subsequent registration. The GTCNI also asks that additional support is put in place to assist newly and recently qualified teachers to obtain employment and to ensure they are supported during the early years of their career.
HEI Planning for 2020–21
Student teachers who are intending to undertake Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses in both the B.Ed. and PGCE programmes for the forthcoming 2020/21 academic year should also be aware that the HEIs are working in collaboration with colleagues across the education sector, including the GTCNI, and the partner schools to consider how school placement arrangements can be facilitated in the midst of this global pandemic. In this regard, the GTCNI is aware that the HEIs have already considered what adjustments they will need to make to their ITE programmes, should it be necessary to do so, when schools re–open in August / September.