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Help!

Landed with the worst class in the school? Not happy about your teaching practice? Tell Sara Bubb, our new agony aunt for NQTs and PGCE students.

I am being given half a day a fortnight out of my classroom for induction, which NQTs in other schools seem to get every week. Should I complain? What should I say?

Complain! If you qualified after May 7 this year and are teaching in a state school you are entitled to the statutory induction provision which includes, among other things, a 10 per cent timetable reduction. It sounds as if you are getting only half of this, but rememberthat days out on induction courses count.

The DfEE has given local authorities money to cover the timetable reduction. It is in Standards Fund 1 under School Improvement and can get hidden - but it is there. You should speak up. You will suffer as a resultof inadequate induction provision and are unlikely to have this level of support again. you might even fail the induction year.

Complaining is always unpleasant, especially if you have low status on the staff. Perhaps ask your induction tutor to raise the matter. If this doesn't work, every authority has someone to sort out problems and who will have some clout with your headteacher.

All the information you need to fight your cause is in DfEE Circular 599 The Induction Period for Newly Qualified Teachers (telephone 0845 602 2260 for a copy) and the Teacher Training Agency's Supporting Induction booklets (telephone 0845 606 0323). Good luck!

E-mail your questions to: friday@tes.co.uk. Sara Bubb runs induction courses in Lambeth, Lewisham and at the Institute of Education. She cannot enter into personal correspondence

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