Failed NQT wins a second chance

18th November 2005 at 00:00
A newly-qualified teacher will be able to repeat her failed induction year after England's General Teaching Council ruled a combination of circumstances had conspired against her.

Rosalind Wortley, who taught at St Anne's Roman Catholic primary in Basingstoke, Hampshire, was alleged to have problems controlling children.

The disciplinary hearing in Birmingham this week was told that a teacher who observed one of Miss Wortley's lessons saw a child holding a rope around another's neck.

Another teacher who observed a later lesson saw a pupil bite another child while Miss Wortley's back was turned, the GTC heard.

Miss Wortley told the hearing: "I got the whole class to do the same things at the same time and this one group was not behaving."

The disciplinary panel ruled that she should have her induction period extended by three terms, after deciding that a number of factors had worked against her completing the year successfully.

It felt she had suffered as there were three headteachers during her time at the school.

Miss Wortley told the hearing: "I feel more determined than ever to become a good primary teacher. I worked very hard during my NQT year and I was never criticised for being lazy. On the contrary, I was praised for my detailed lesson plans."

Miss Wortley taught at the school between September 2004 and July 2005 and was given an unsatisfactory rating on one of her first lessons. She said:

"Because of that my confidence was knocked right at the beginning. I was very upset because I had just started at a new school. I was keen, I didn't want to fail this year."

Miss Wortley said staff did not give her feedback after observing her lessons and that her first term was also made more difficult by an Ofsted inspection.

She signed a form declaring she had been given appropriate support at the end of her first term, but told last week's hearing in Birmingham that she had simply "bowed" to a "greater knowledge".

Miss Wortley got in touch with her representative from the NASUWT teachers'

union before the beginning of her second term and a meeting was held to set her targets.

Liz Muir, her NASUWT representative, told the hearing she was unhappy with the school's feedback because it had not set Miss Wortley clear goals or pinpointed specific things that had gone wrong with her teaching.

Miss Wortley said she felt more positive on returning to the school for her third term but was involved in an bicycle accident shortly after it began, sustaining injuries to her teeth and face.

Janet Keene, from the NASUWT, told the GTC panel: "She only took a week off school, she felt things were beginning to go well, so she went back. In hindsight that was a very silly decision. If you want to go back to work, sometimes you over-estimate your abilities. She was finding it more difficult to focus - the clarity wasn't there. Just when things were going right, that set her back considerably."

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