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Negative attitude

Q: At the end of November, the headteacher told me that I might not pass the first term of my NQT year. This came as quite a surprise because I had not been told before that there were any concerns and my observations went quite well. When I told my mentor, she was surprised as well. I feel that the head is just looking for negatives and only pointing out where things aren't going right. I feel like I'm sinking and I am feeling really down.

A: I'm not surprised you're feeling low, but don't panic. Remember that it's not a case of pass or fail, just a warning sign which should mean you get more support and greater clarity about what to improve and how to do so.

Certainly, the recommendation shouldn't be done on November 28 - there's more than three weeks to go which is about a fifth of your term. Ask your headteacher what you need to improve, and what support you'll get to do so.

Also get in touch with your "appropriate body", such as your local education authority to put them in the picture.

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