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The final countdown

Advice for teachers in their early career

Hasn't this term flown? If you started induction in September, you'll need your second assessment form filled in before the end of term and sent off to your local education authority. It's not long since the last form, but look at what was written abut you then. I'm sure there are many things that you're doing better at this stage of your first year.

Many people worry whether they have enough evidence - since you're doing the job every day, you will have. You should also have a folder for induction paperwork with all your objectives you've been working on since you started, and your induction programme of activities which should be helping you meet them; maybe something about the impact of all the professional development you've done; the half-termly professional review meetings; feedback from observations of your teaching every half-term; and your two end of term assessment forms.

This second assessment is really important as it's the last time that someone will write about your performance in-depth. The third term's form only requires signatures if you meet the standards. It's a shame that you don't get an end of year report in England and Wales, as you do in Scotland.

Did you think that the last assessment form gave a clear picture of how you were doing against the standards? Occasionally, what's written bears little resemblance to reality, or is just waffle about how nice (or not) you are.

Was it well written? I've read reports with typos, ungrammatical sentences, misplaced apostrophes and spelling mistakes, such as "extremily" and "differenciation". It's a good job senior teachers in schools don't have to take the skills tests!

Your headteacher has to state either that your progress indicates that you will be able to meet the requirements for the satisfactory completion of the induction period, or that you won't. It wasn't the end of the world to not be making satisfactory progress in the first term, but if that judgment is made now you have every reason to panic because it doesn't bode well for the crucial end of the third term decision about whether you keep your registration with the General Teaching Council.

Check that the LEA has received the form. One head only got round to posting a form he wrote at Christmas in February!

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