School placement is an integral element of initial teacher education and is a vital part of learning to be a teacher. Over the course of the two-year PME, you will undertake placement in at least two different schools. It is our policy that PME students change schools between Year 1 and Year 2.
It is your responsibility, once offered a provisional place on the PME course, to make satisfactory arrangements for your school placement in year 1 of the PME. The Department has built strong relationships with many schools and we will support you in the process of finding a placement. Applicants with disabilities should consult the
Guidelines for Student Teachers with Disabilities
You must secure placement in
Schools within160kmTravel distance
from Maynooth. In PME1 you will spend two days per week (Thursdays and Fridays) in school from late August until late May. You will have a three-week block placement in January where you will spend five days per week in the school . The university based activities, lectures, tutorials and meetings take place from Monday to Wednesday each week and follow the university calendar. Further details on school placement are available in our
School Placement Booklet 2023-2024
Learning to be a teacher in the post-primary system involves gaining classroom experience but is not confined to that. You are also expected to participate as fully as possible in the life of the school while on placement. As a student teacher, you are expected to co-operate in every reasonable way with the running of the school and to assist with school activities, provided that it does not interfere with your own university-based classes or with your ability to participate fully in the university component of the programme. You must not be included in the school’s timetable on university days or be allocated classes as if you were a qualified teacher. It is expected that you work in tandem with co-operating teachers and replace them for classes that have been assigned to their timetable.
Securing a school placement can be a challenging process for some student teachers, so please start as early as possible and use any professional or personal contacts you may have. Many schools make decisions relating to school placement during the summer and some school placements are not finalised until the start of the new school year. Please note that schools generally close fully from late June to early or mid-August. We recommend you aim to secure your school placement before the end of June.
It is recommended that you strategically target a small number of schools for your school placement. Applications should be personalised (e.g., use the name of the principal) and show evidence that you have some familiarity with the school context (start by visiting the school website). When contacting a school by telephone, email, letter or in person, you should:
- Indicate that you are an intending student on the PME programme at Maynooth University
- Request a meeting/ interview with the principal or deputy principal to discuss your application
If the principal/ deputy principal invites you to attend the school for interview or requests a meeting, this should be considered as a formal interview for placement. Consequently, you should:
- Dress professionally
- Be familiar with the school context and the recent achievements/ initiatives of the school
- Try to identify ways you could contribute to the life of the school
- Bring the following three pieces of documentation:
Letter of Application
, Curriculum Vitae,
Be familiar with the location of the school and arrive ahead of time. Upon arrival, call to the school reception, introduce yourself and explain that you are expected by the principal or deputy principal.
If you have been accepted by a school then please complete the Online School Placement Form PME Y1 Once you have submitted this form to the department, you may not subsequently change schools. If you decide at a later date not to accept the place on the PME, you must inform in writing the principal (or nominee) of the school who offered the placement (as well as informing PAC and the MU School Placement Office via email on firstname.lastname@example.org).
All students who undertake school related practice (school placement) must undergo a vetting process within Maynooth University. Please be aware that you cannot begin school placement until you have completed the vetting process.
The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 provide a legislative basis for the mandatory vetting of persons who wish to undertake certain work or activities relating to children or vulnerable persons or to provide certain services to children or vulnerable persons.
You will be contacted by email when your vetting process begins. This will require you to fill out a Vetting Invitation Form (NVB1) which we will email you. You will then be invited to submit your completed form and your additional documents. All information regarding the additional documents will be on your Vetting Invitation Form. An Garda Síochána has developed a 100 Point Check in relation to identity documents for guidance purposes and this will be explained in the email we send to you. One piece of identification must include a photo. It is not possible for a family member or friend to present the identity documents: you must present your own documents in person. Maynooth University will then initiate the Vetting process on your behalf.
Further information regarding Vetting is available here