Your NQT induction: what to expect

With your new-found qualified teacher status safely in the bag, only your NQT induction stands between you and full qualification. So what does the next year entail?

Zofia Niemtus

Nqt Induction

What is an NQT teacher?

A newly qualified teacher (NQT) is a teacher in the first year of teaching, following their initial teacher training (ITT) where they were awarded QTS. Currently, there are plans to extend the NQT stage to two years following a consultation into the early careers framework (ECF).

What is the NQT induction for?

The newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction process is designed to offer new teachers support and guidance in their professional development after gaining qualified teacher status (QTS).

The induction period acts as a bridge between your initial teacher training and your teaching career. It’s designed to ensure that you receive the right development, support and monitoring as you begin to teach.

Throughout this period, you will have a slightly reduced timetable and will work towards demonstrating that you have met all of the relevant professional standards to become an effective teacher.

Quick read: Two teachers on why they support the ECF

Quick listen: How to train a teacher

Want more articles like this? Join our Tes Teaching and Learning Facebook group

How long does it take to pass your NQT?

The NQT induction currently takes three school terms, which are often completed consecutively and on a full-time basis in one academic year (although this does not have to be the case).

In England, NQTs are able to take as long as required to complete their induction period, while in Wales they need to apply for an extension if they do not meet the requirements in the equivalent of three terms.

How do I pass my NQT year?

Throughout your induction year, you will be observed regularly (either by your induction tutor or another suitable person who holds QTS) and you will have regular meetings to discuss your development and any areas of concern. 

At the end of each full term of your induction year, you will be formally assessed, with either your induction mentor or school leader formally appraising your progress towards meeting the Teaching Standards (these detail the required skills in areas such as subject knowledge, planning, assessment and managing the learning environment, as well as personal and professional conduct).

This assessment will take into account evidence gathered during the preceding period, and judgements will relate directly to the relevant standards. Guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) states that NQTs should be kept up to date on their progress and that “there should be no surprises”.

After your final assessment in the third term, your school leader is required to make a recommendation to the appropriate body (the local authority or relevant teaching school), stating whether you have made satisfactory progress towards meeting all of the standards. The appropriate body will then assess whether you have met the requirements to pass your induction period and will write to your leader to confirm the decision.  

Can the NQT induction be completed in any school?

Almost. You can have your induction in most schools around the country – from maintained schools to academies and free schools – and other settings including pupil referral units, alternative provision, independent schools, sixth forms and further education colleges.

You can also undergo induction at an independent school overseas, as long as it has been inspected by a DfE-accredited inspectorate within the past six years against the standards for inspection of British schools overseas.

For nurseries and children’s centres, you must teach classes of pupils predominantly aged three and over, and have a headteacher who can make the recommendation against the relevant standards. For further education institutions, no more than 10 per cent of your timetable should be spent teaching classes of pupils over the age of 19.

Schools and FE colleges requiring special measures are not usually able to host NQT induction, although Ofsted can overrule this.

What am I entitled to during my induction?

Your school leader is required to give NQTs a 10 per cent reduction in your teaching timetable to allow for meetings with your induction tutor and other necessary activities (this is an additional reduction on top of the 10 per cent set aside on all teachers’ timetables for preparation, planning and assessment).  

You are also entitled to an appropriately qualified induction tutor, who will offer regular reviews on your progress, ahead of the formal assessment meetings each term.

Zofia Niemtus is a freelance writer