Preparing for induction assessment reports
What’s in an induction assessment report?
The report should outline strengths and areas for further development along with the targets and support planned under the three headings of the standards: professional values and practice; knowledge and understanding; and teaching.
You can’t pass or fail during the induction
The really important part of the form is the recommendation by the headteacher. You cannot ‘fail’ your first or second term on induction. The decision that has to be made is only formative: either that your progress indicates that you may or may not be able to meet the standards by the end of the third term. It’s the judgment at the end of the third term that really matters and the final recommendation of the head teacher.
Keep notes on your progress
It’ll help you reflect on progress so far if you make notes about how you’re doing against the standards. Pass this on to your induction tutor because it’ll help them write the report.
If your progress is weak, help is at hand
It’s only the judgment at the end of the third term that really matters, but if progress is dodgy, the school, appropriate body and you need to ensure that support and monitoring mechanisms are in place to give you every possible chance. For instance, NQTs can have an advanced skills teacher work with them once a week. It really helps. I’ve known people turn out to be highly successful teachers, even though, and almost because, they didn’t make good progress in their first term.
Make a date for the assessment meeting
Experienced induction tutors will have drawn up a timetable of what needs to be done by when so that the appropriate body gets the form by the end of term. Encourage your school to adhere to the induction guidance, which indicate that forms must be finished and signed off by the end of term. It’s a good idea to be proactive in setting a date for the assessment meeting if your induction tutor hasn’t.
Check that boxes are ticked appropriately
The headteacher is responsible for ticking the kinds of monitoring and support that have been in place during the term. If they haven’t all happened, don’t allow them to be ticked.
Nothing should take you by surprise
Nothing written should come as a surprise because strengths and areas to develop will have been raised during the observations, the review of progress at half-term and the meetings with your induction tutor. However, one newly qualified teacher said, “I’m getting really confused, because surely I should have been told the things that need developing and supporting by the school and mentors before now.” Yes, she should. Even if you find yourself in this position, think positively.
Be a proactive editor
During the assessment meeting, suggest additions or revisions to the draft wording so that the form is accurate and fair. Be clear about what you’re doing well and what small steps you need to make to address things that need to be better.
Keep your own copy
Keep a copy of the form in your professional portfolio. The assessment process should leave you clear about your strengths and what to work on - make it happen!
Sarah Bubb is an induction specialist