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Rogues make life hell for novices

SENIOR managers at a successful beacon school bullied new staff so badly that only one of 11 newly-qualified teachers stayed last year.

The secondary was examined by researchers from the Institute of Education, London University, as part of a study of "rogue" schools that fail to provide proper NQT induction.

The school, which they cannot name, had been praised by the Department for Education and Skills. But Sarah Bubb and her colleagues found "a climate of bullying that results in fear of senior management and a distrust of being too open with other teachers".

They said the school took on more than a third of staff fresh from training as a deliberate tactic to keep costs low. The 10 NQTs who left during or at the end of the year said they were not allowed to attend training courses, dreaded assessment meetings and were admonished if they spoke to each other.

Four told researchers their self-confidence had been badly affected. One said she had been unable to work for a month afterwards.

The local education authority tried unsuccessfully to remind the head of his statutory induction duties and is now considering withholding the pound;3,000 funding bonuses for each NQT's induction. Well-managed schools that deliberately flout the rules were one of four types of school found to be failing on induction. Poor induction was most common at badly-managed schools that did not comply with the rules out of ignorance.

A study by the same team for the DfES last year showed that one in five NQTs does not get the weekly non-contact time they should.

"Accountability and responsibility: 'Rogue' principals and the induction of new teachers in England" is available from s.bubb@ioe.ac.uk

This week's TES contains a First Appointments pull-out

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