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Doing your NQT induction abroad: all you need to know

An NQT at an international school

What is an NQT induction?

In the UK, when a teacher successfully finishes their teaching qualification, for example, PGCE or the MEd, with qualified teacher status (QTS), they then become newly qualified teachers (NQTs).

This means that they need to complete the statutory three-term programme known as the “induction for newly qualified teachers”. This enables them to be legally employed as a teacher in a maintained school.

During this induction period, the NQT teaches classes, plans lessons and assesses students. However, they have a reduced timetable (90 per cent) and an induction tutor/ mentor who monitors, observes and supports them throughout the academic year.

This is to ensure that the NQT fulfils all of the relevant professional teaching standards to become an effective teacher. 

Tes resources bannerCan I do my NQT induction abroad? 

As this is part of the British PGCE, NQTs can be employed at many British schools around the world, including in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

However, to accept NQTs for their induction and for the induction to be recognised as valid by the UK government, a British school abroad must be a member of a Department for Education-approved body such as the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and have successfully completed a British Schools Overseas (BSO) inspection.

The school then has to work with an “appropriate body” to carry out the NQT induction programme. NQTs can therefore complete their induction in qualifying COBIS Member Schools – check the list of qualifying COBIS-accredited member schools (updated April 2019).

At present, COBIS-qualifying schools can continue to offer NQT induction for a maximum of six years after the date of their last BSO inspection. However, not all of these schools may be running an NQT induction in any given year. Therefore teachers interested in undertaking NQT induction are advised to contact the school abroad directly before applying.

As the number of COBIS schools undertaking the voluntary DfE approved inspection for BSOs increases, more schools abroad will be eligible to deliver NQT induction.

Details of other non-COBIS schools which potentially qualify to deliver NQT induction and have completed a BSO inspection can be found on the DfE website.

These schools will need to have a legal and contractual arrangement with an approved provider of statutory NQT induction training.

Do many international schools take on NQTs?

In the past, many international schools insisted on two years’ UK teaching experience, and few schools abroad would have taken on NQTs, but this is changing.

Currently, there are 4,300 British international schools around the world, which make up over 45 per cent of the international school market. According to the COBIS report Teacher Supply in British International Schools (July 2018), British international schools will require 230,000 more teachers to meet staffing needs. 

What will differ from doing my induction in the UK? 

Your induction should be as rigorous as the NQT induction process back in the UK. As in the UK, the NQT will have scheduled meetings with the induction tutor to discuss their progress. In addition, the NQT will be observed regularly in class by the induction tutor who will offer feedback and support. 

How long will the induction take?

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

In some cases, a fourth term is provided by appropriate bodies in international British schools, if the NQT needs an additional term of support.

How do I pass?

At the end of each term, the induction mentor formally assesses the NQT and determines if he/she is meeting all of the relevant professional teaching standards, based on the evidence provided by the NQT, as well as feedback from lesson observations and meetings.

After the final assessment in the last term, the induction mentor must inform the appropriate body that the NQT has met all of the teaching standards or not. Then the appropriate body evaluates if the NQT has fulfilled the necessary criteria to pass the induction period and will contact the NQT mentor to approve the decision.

Sorcha Coyle has taught at schools in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates for the past six years. She also runs the Empowering Expat Teachers community, which can be found on her blog 

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