Help!

16th June 2000 at 01:00
Landed with the worst class in the school? Not happy about your teaching practice? Tell Sara Bubb, our new agony aunt for NQTs and students.

There is talk of one or two students failing the PGCE I'm on. I'd like some advice on my role as student rep in any disputes that may arise between these students and the college.

I'm pretty sure that as student rep you are only expected to air the views of the student body at meetings with the course leaders - not to get involved in tricky individual cases. My feeling is that you will have been raising issues such as poor support during the course, if they have been significant.

You can offer a sympathetic ear to students who fear they might fail, but little more. Don't get too involved. Disputes such as these can be harrowing and time consuming - you could easily get distracted from your own coursework. Direct your coleagues to the students' union, who will be very knowledgeable about these matters. They will know the right course of action and grounds for appeal.

I was offered a job after an interview four weeks ago but haven't heard anything since. I have nothing in writing. What should I do?

Job offers made verbally should be followed up in writing. The fact that you haven't had a letter or contract is worrying, but there's bound to be a simple explanation.It may have been overlooked or lost in the post. Why not ring the head to ask politely for written confirmation. Also find out when you might expect the contract. This often comes later, and should be read carefully before signing.

E-mail your questions to: friday@tes.co.uk. Sara Bubb runs induction courses in Lambeth, Lewisham and at the Institute of Education. She cannot enter into personal correspondence


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