Newly qualified teacher FAQs
Read the answers to frequently asked questions prepared by NQT authority, Sara Bubb.
Who must complete the statutory induction period?
Everyone who qualified after May 1999 has to complete an induction period to work in state schools in England.
Where can I do statutory induction?
You must do induction in maintained schools and it’s optional in independent schools and FE colleges in England. Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man follow the English system, as do the Service Children’s Education (SCE) schools in Cyprus and Germany. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own induction systems.
Can I do induction in an independent school?
Yes, if the independent school is registered with an Appropriate Body – the local authority or ISCTIP.
Can I do induction abroad?
No, you can’t complete England’s statutory induction in a school in countries other than Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the Service Children’s Education (SCE) schools in Cyprus and Germany.
Can a new teacher do induction in a school requiring special measures?
No, not unless the school has been judged by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector to be able to provide appropriate induction supervision and training.
Will terms of induction undertaken in Wales count towards induction in England?
Yes. Any period of induction of a term or more in Wales will count towards an induction period in England (and vice versa). For further details see the guidance:
Are there any schools in England in which I can’t do induction?
Yes, you can’t do induction in a Pupil Referral Unit, or a school under special measures unless HMI says you’ll be well supported.
Can part-time teachers do induction?
Yes, if they have a contract for a term or more. Their induction has to cover the equivalent of 189 school days. For instance, the induction period for a teacher working for 50 per cent of the time will need to last for six school terms (at a school that has a 3 term academic year).
I trained to teach history teacher but am mostly teaching English. Is this allowed?
Yes. There are no rules to say you must be teaching the subject you trained in, though you’ll clearly find it easier to meet the standards when teaching history than when teaching English. To pass induction you have to meet all the core standards in the employment context that you’re working in. Thus, you’ll need to use the support to which you’re entitled to help you in English in particular.
Is there a time limit between qualifying and starting induction?
No. You can also take a break after the first or second of the three terms in the induction period, if you need to. The only thing that has a time limit is supply work.
When do Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have to start induction?
As soon as they have a job for a term. There is no time limit following the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), by which NQTs have to start their induction in England. It’s best to complete induction as soon as possible after being awarded QTS to build on and strengthen the skills gained during initial teacher training (ITT).
I have been told that NQTs have to start / complete their induction within 5 years of being awarded QTS. Is this true?
No, this is not true in England. There is no time limit to starting induction – and never has been. There is a five year limit in Wales.
Can an NQT change from teaching Primary to Secondary or vice versa during their induction year?
Yes, there is no legal obstacle – once an NQT has QTS they can teach any age range and subject. However, teaching outside the age range for which they trained is unlikely to offer the best context for induction and they are likely to need additional support in order to meet, and show that they are meeting, the Core Standards.
How much will I get paid as an NQT?
All qualified teachers start on the Main Pay Scale and move up a pointevery year (subject to satisfactory progress), in September. Part-time and temporary teachers also go up a point so long as they’ve been employed for at least 26 weeks during the year. Most people start on M1 and after six years will be at the top of the scale (M6) but some teachers can start higher up the scale in recognition of relevant experience.There are four separate scales depending on whether you work in inner, outer or the fringe of London or elsewhere in England and Wales. Of the 33 London boroughs, those that border a county get outer London pay and all others get inner London. For more details, go to http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/pay.
What are NQTs entitled to?
Under induction NQTs should have the following:
1. A job description that does not make unreasonable demands.
2. An induction tutor.
3. Meetings with the induction tutor.
4. The Career Entry and Development Profile discussed by the NQT and induction tutor.
5. Objectives, informed by the strengths and areas for development identified in the CEDP, to help NQTs improve so that they meet the standards for the induction period.
6. A ten per cent reduction in timetable - this will be in addition to PPA time.
7. A planned programme of how to spend that time, such as observations of other teachers.
8. At least one observation each half term with oral and written feedback, meaning a minimum of at least six a year.
9. An assessment meeting and report towards the end of each term.
10. Procedures for NQTs to air grievances about their induction provision at school and a named person to contact at the Appropriate Body, which is the local authority or the independent schools’ council teacher induction panel (ISCTIP).
Reduced timetable questions
Am I entitled to PPA time as well as my 10 per cent reduced timetable?
Yes. From September 2005 maintained schools must give all teachers (including NQTs) ten per cent of normal timetabled teaching time - for lesson planning and preparation. It’s up to schools and their remodelling teams how this is organised. All NQTs undergoing statutory induction should only be timetabled to teach for 90% of what other teachers in the school do, so they should be teaching 81% of lessons in a week.
The school says it can’t afford to give me 10 per cent release time.
It’s a statutory duty of headteachers to give NQTs only a 90 per cent timetable.
My half-day for induction is often cancelled because of staff sickness.
There will inevitably be times when this happens, but your induction time should be protected as far as possible and, if missed, should be made up at some other time.
Is my school allowed to continually ask me to do cover during my free periods?
Schools vary in the amount of cover they ask new teachers to do. Unfortunately, nobody can refuse to cover. The letter of the law is in Teachers’ Pay and Conditions. You’re expected to do what the head asks of you and that includes covering for colleagues, for the first three days of their absence but to a maximum of 38 hours a year. NQTs aren’t exempt from this requirement.
What happens if I fail induction?
If your head and appropriate body think that you do not meet the core standards, you won’t be allowed to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England – ever. However, you can appeal against the decision. If you are deregistered you would only be able to teach in an independent school or work as a private tutor but your qualified teacher status isn’t taken away.
Do you lose QTS if you don’t pass induction?
No, you can never lose your QTS. You have it forever!
If an NQT fails their induction, can they take it again?
No. No one may serve more than one induction year. If they have failed their induction period they are deregistered from the General Teaching Council for England and so no longer allowed to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school. They can submit an appeal that is heard by the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE). See:
What standards will be used to assess the performance of teachers in their induction year?
You have to meet the 41 Core Standards in England.
How will the induction period be assessed?
Monitoring is an important component of support and the teacher’s progress is monitored throughout the year as part of their induction support programme. This includes the informal monitoring and formative assessment that takes place on a day to day basis as well as the teacher’s self evaluation, scheduled observations and review discussions. Assessment meetings between the induction tutor and/or the headteacher and the NQT are held towards the end of each term.
How often should we be observed?
You should be observed at least once every 6-8 weeks, and the first observation should happen within the first four weeks. A variety of people can observe you teach: induction tutors, headteachers, mentors, heads of department, inspectors and representatives from the Appropriate Bodies.
I have got an unsatisfactory rating on my first observation. What is the impact of this?
You can’t ‘fail’ an observation and there is no need to be graded. The impact of you getting an ‘unsatisfactory’ rating should be that the school gives more targeted support to enable you to succeed. You may be observed teaching more often than once every half term but don’t get worried about that – see it as a way to get more advice.
Supply rules questions
Is there anywhere an NQT would be able to carry on with short-term supply work without starting their induction after the 16 month limit has expired?
NQTs would not be able to work in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England, unless the LA has agreed to an extension to the short-term supply entitlement due to exceptional circumstances. They could continue to do supply in the independent sector.
What can an NQT do after the 16 months of short-term supply are over?
After the 16 months are over, NQTs can continue to do supply work in a maintained or non-maintained special school only when the supply placement is for one term or more, and therefore induction is being undertaken, unless the LA has agreed to an extension to the short-term supply entitlement due to exceptional circumstances.
Can NQTs take a break during their induction period?
Yes, NQTs can take a break for as long as they like, but during that period they cannot teach in maintained schools or non-maintained special schools, because they are obliged to continue with their induction programme if they are in a school where the programme is available. NQTs could, therefore, do non-inductable short-term supply teaching, provided the 16 month limit has not expired. They could also supply or teach in a school that does not require induction, e.g. an independent school.
If there are problems ..
Do NQTs have the legal right to refuse to have a tutor group?
No. You don’t have a legal right not to have a tutor group but the induction regulations say that you should only have reasonable demands made of you in that, ‘The post does not involve additional non-teaching responsibilities without the provision of appropriate preparation and support’. Most secondary teachers have a tutor group. Yes, it’s an added thing to think about but most people like it as it gives them a chance to get to know a group of pupils really well. What you need to ensure is that you have ‘appropriate preparation and support’. So think about what you need and make sure you get it.
Everyone says I’m doing well, so my induction has fizzled out.
Induction is statutory for all NQTs. Even the very successful have the right to be challenged so they become even more effective teachers. Be proactive in asking for meetings and observations.
The school is in crisis - priorities are elsewhere, not on us.
It will be particularly hard to complain to the head and LA in this situation, but all the more important. If you are not getting the support you need, you won’t teach effectively and the children’s learning will suffer further.
My school has an inspection looming this term. Are inspectors able to fail my induction if the observation does not go well?
No, the only person who makes the recommendation about whether you’re meeting the core standards is the head, which is then confirmed by the LA. You don’t get written feedback when you’re inspected so it can’t be used as one of the statutory half termly observations. It would seem logical to think that less experienced teachers get the lowest grades but actually they usually do well in inspections. This is because new teachers plan, teach and assess using the latest methods, don’t get thrown by having someone watch you teach - and because you’re good!
I am currently off school ill and will be off for a while. Is there a limit as to how many days you can have off during your induction year?
If you’re absent for 30 school days or more your induction period is automatically extended by the length of your absence. Remember that absence includes time off for compassionate leave, hospital appointments, graduation ceremonies, moving, interviews and strikes as well as sickness.
What should NQT do if the information on their Induction certificate is incorrect / they change their name / lose their Induction certificate?
Induction certificates are issued by the GTCE. Contact the GTCE at:
Registration Section, General Teaching Council
Victoria Square House, Victoria Square
Birmingham B2 4AJ
Tel: 0870 001 0308
Fax: 0121 345 0100
If a teacher has not received / has lost their Teacher Number, who do they contact?
The GTC will provide details of Teacher Registration Numbers to teachers who have lost theirs: see contact details above.
How do NQTs find out who their named contact is at their Appropriate Body?
In the first instance they should ask their induction tutor or head teacher. Otherwise they can find out by contacting:
Need more advice? Visit Trainee teachers and NQTs