First Step - Failing induction - Failure is not the end

10th July 2009 at 01:00
If it looks like you will not pass your induction year, don't panic. There are still steps you can take to save the situation

They are a small minority, but some teachers, as they approach the end of their induction year, will be told that they are at risk of failing to complete it satisfactorily. If this happens to you, keep calm, stand back and look at the evidence.

First of all, the report form sent by your headteacher to the local authority or other appropriate body should clearly establish:

- Any weaknesses.

- The objectives that you have agreed with your induction tutor to satisfactorily complete induction.

- The support planned for you.

- The evidence the school has used to inform the judgment that you are at risk of failing.

Before this happens, if your headteacher is not your induction tutor, he or she should observe your teaching. If they are your induction tutor, a third party should review the evidence and observe you in class. If someone else will be observing you, it's important to find out who and for what reason.

It's also important to ensure that the head has written to you about your assessment and the consequences if you fail to improve, says the Training and Development Agency for Schools. It is very important that these procedures take place in line with the Government's guidance.

Once it's been recognised that you may fail to complete the induction period satisfactorily, both the headteacher and the appropriate body need to ensure that the assessment of you is well-founded and accurate; the areas in which you need to improve have been correctly identified; appropriate objectives have been set to guide you to reach the standards and a relevant support programme is in place to help you meet those objectives.

Try to do all you can to comply and gather evidence, so that you are always able to show that you have followed advice and taken action. Where your local authority has provided examples of effective teaching and learning that reaches the standards, you should read this carefully and discuss it with your induction tutor.

The appropriate body should respond to a request from your school for guidance, support and assistance for you. If your school does not request such help on your behalf and you feel you cannot raise this with your induction tutor, raise it with a union representative.

Despite this support, however, a small number of NQTs may still struggle to show that they are reaching the standards required during their induction year as the end of the final term approaches.

If this applies to you, it will become even more important to be clear about what you have to do to reach a satisfactory standard. You should continue to do all you can to demonstrate that you have followed advice and taken action.

As the year draws to a close, the level of support that you receive should be stepped up with immediate effect. It is important to keep a written record of the additional support that you receive and when you receive it just in case you need to appeal to the General Teaching Council (GTC) at a later date.

You must also raise any concerns you have about the accuracy of the assessments made of you as soon as possible. You can do this by contacting the person within your local authority with responsibility for NQTs. Keep a written record.

Finally, your headteacher has to recommend to the appropriate body whether you have met the induction standards at the year end. If the final decision is that you have not, you can appeal to the GTC no later than 20 days after you have received that decision

This information was produced in conjunction with the union ATL. For more information and support, visit www.new2teaching.org.uk

IF YOU THINK YOU'LL FAIL ...

- Ask your induction tutor andor head to step up support.

- Compare your progress and areas for development against the core standards set out by the TDA (www.tda.gov.uk).

- Keep scrupulous records.

- Speak to your local authority representative.

- If you need to appeal, contact the General Teaching Council (www.gtce.org.uk).

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