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A rip-off for the rookies?

Q: I've been told that my school intends to use more than two-thirds of my NQT professional development fund to pay for a staffing shortfall as new teachers fulfil only 90 per cent of a class teacher's usual timetable. This means that all NQTs at the school are allotted just pound;500 each for the year - not even enough for two training courses. There are 10 newcomers, so I presume the school is getting some pound;25,000 from our funds. Surely this can't be right?

A: Since changes were made to the Department for Education and Skills' rules on funding, very few LEAs give pound;3,000 per NQT to schools to cover induction. I doubt very much whether your school really receives pound;25,000 "from our funds". Your school has a duty to support, monitor and assess you, but there are no rules to say that you must be allowed to go on courses. You must be clear about what you need to develop and, with your induction tutor, draw up an action plan of how to meet your objectives. It is often quicker, easier and more cost-effective to meet these needs by observing and speaking to people in school. You need to justify attending a course for your professional development, rather than seeing it as a right.

* We're happy to answer your problems about any aspect of your NQT year. Unfortunately, our experts cannot enter into personal correspondence with readers but will treat all your enquiries in the strictest confidence.

Please email any questions you have to: nqtextra@tes.co.uk

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