Doubling the time it takes for newly qualified teachers (NQT) to complete their induction could backfire unless it is done properly, a conference in London has heard.
The Department for Education is currently working on extending the induction year for NQTs from one year to two years and introducing an early career framework for this period to “provide more time for teachers to develop their knowledge and skills”.
But there are fears that the change could be “hell” for some teachers and could drive staff away if it means more scrutiny rather than more support.
Alison Ryan, of the NEU teaching union, told the Westminster Education Forum in London that she supported the idea of the 10 per cent non-contact time that NQTs get being extended for a second year, but was concerned about the idea of the induction itself being extended.
'Induction didn't feel supportive'
Speaking after the event, she added: "I don't think it would affect recruitment because people will see QTS is staying where it is, but I think it could have an impact on retention. If we do not make those two years feel like a constructively challenging and exciting time, which is what it should be, then I think it could have a negative impact on retention.
"We're very concerned that that additional scrutiny, unless the induction year becomes quite a different thing, becomes repackaged, reinvented. Then it could be quite a negative to assessment year, so we are against it in its current format being extended.
“We would want it to look like a very different form of early career development. The fact that people will not have QTS confirmed for two years is not necessarily helpful.
Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers, said that while she was supportive of the proposal, it was important to ensure it was done properly.
She told the conference that some trainees described their NQT year as “hell”. For some teachers: “induction didn’t feel supportive, it feels they are constantly being scrutinised”.
And Ms Hollis added that while for people who run induction programmes the proposal to extend induction over two years was positive, because it allowed more professional development and support, she said that for people coming into teaching “there is the potential for people to see induction as a weight on their shoulders.”