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Avoid a false start

A new teacher who failed her induction year was given a second chance by the General Teaching Council for England this month. The council ruled that there were flaws in the way she had been treated.

Heads have a duty to ensure an appropriate induction year for all newly qualified teachers and to appoint a tutor with the necessary experience who will spend considerable time with the NQT. The tutor's key functions are to make rigorous and fair judgements and to provide effective support.

Each NQT's programme should be individualised. New entrants are not subject to the normal performance review, but there should be at least three lesson observations. In a primary these should cover literacy, numeracy and at least one other subject. NQTs should not teach for more than 90 per cent of the hours taught by other teachers. They should get to watch others teach.

If a teacher fails to pass the induction year the school must sack him or her within 10 working days, although it is more usual for the teacher to resign beforehand. He or she will not be able to teach in the state sector again. Teachers who appeal to the GTC can continue but with restricted duties. Details in Circular 599 The Induction Period for Newly Qualified Teachers.

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