Prepare to pass the final test

Sara Bubb explains how to get through the final stage of induction.

The end of your induction year is in sight, but many NQTs in England are worried about what they must do to pass induction. Don't panic. If you've been teaching since September you will have been doing all that is necessary to meet the 10 standards. Get them out and assess yourself against them.

You will have been setting targets, planning, teaching, assessing, managing pupils, using individual education plans, working with support staff, talking to parents, implementing school policies and taking an active part in your professional development. Even as you read this you'll either be feeling sick because you haven't finished your reports, or relieved that you have. Standard (e), about using ethnic and cultural diversity, can be a bit of a Cinderella, but it's probably part of all that you do for the other standards.

You don't need to collect any evidence for the standards other than what you do as part of your job, and what others have written about you. However, look through the standards to check you haven't left any gaps.

In induction research carried out for the Department for Education and Skills project published last week, which I co-directed, some schools expected newly qualified teachers to keep teaching practice-level folders of evidence, but this is unnecessary. You keep enough paperwork as a class teacher. Don't worry about standards that are irrelevant to you - if you don't teach pupils with special needs, you can't contribute to individual education plans.

You are unlikely to face a formal assessment occasion as the school has gathered a picture of you throughout the year. The head and induction tutor have to say whether or not you're meeting the induction and QTS standards at the end of your third term. This becomes a recommendation that is sent to the "appropriate body" (usually the local authority). The LEA will have visited schools with NQTs to ensure the standards are uniform, and been involved with new teachers whose term one and two assessment reports indicated problems.

The local authority makes the final decision as to who passes, and will send a list of those who have passed to the General Teaching Council. Those who fail are deregistered from the GTC and never again allowed to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school. Don't worry, only 45 out of more than 16,000 have failed.

The DfES research found those at risk of failing were encouraged to leave by schools and the LEA before they had completed their third term. They can complete their last term on induction at another school and at another time. Often this fresh start can pay dividends, and it's the route I'd take if I was failing.

You'll know if you're at risk of failure because observations of your teaching and the first andor second term's reports would have said your progress was unsatisfactory. If they did not, you are unlikely to be anywhere near failing. The system does not allow for last-minute shocks. To be sure, check with your head.

Ensure that observations of your teaching in this last term show you at your best. Really go for it and learn from the feedback. From now on, you'll be observed just once a year for performance management, so make the most of someone's insight into your work.

Schools are obviously busy at the end of term, so put a date in the diary for your final assessment meeting with the head and induction tutor. This report doesn't require any writing, but you should discuss how well you're meeting the standards. Use the time to get a clear picture of your strengths and successes, and celebrate them. Discuss what you should develop in your second year when you get slotted into the school's performance management arrangements.

Sign the report, take a photocopy and check (and keep checking) that it is received by the appropriate body to ensure that, in the words of television's Blackadder, you're "not at home to Mr Cock-up".

Sara Bubb works with NQTs throughout the UK and at the Institute of Education, where she has co-directed a research project. The report, Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Statutory Arrangements for the Induction of Newly Qualified Teachers, is published by the DfES

Have you made it?

Evidence you've met the standards

* Observations of your teaching

* Other monitoring

* Planning - especially demonstrating differentiation

* Pupils' work

* Assessment file andor mark book

* Levelled and moderated work

* School, class, group andor individual targets

* Knowing who is underachieving, very able or not yet fluent in English

* Behaviour records

* Display of class rules

* SEN folder with individual education plans

* Letters to parents

* Reports, homeschool contact books

* Notes from parents' evenings

* Targets shared with parents

* Details of how you've spent the 10 per cent reduced timetable

* Details of courses attended

* Observations made

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