Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs This week all my friends from college went to the local education authority induction session, which they said was really great. My school won't send me, saying they're giving me all the support I need. I'm not sure they are.
Your school is responsible for providing an induction programme of support, monitoring and assessment, which is tailored to your needs. They don't have to send you on a centrally organised course for NQTs but there are huge advantages to doing so, which you can point out to your headteacher.
The big advantage is that NQTs gain a great deal from talking to each other. You will feel enormously comforted by hearing that others are going through the same problems. No matter how sympathetic experienced members of staff are, you often feel that you are the only one who cannot, for instance, get a class to assemly on time. You will meet other NQTs from other schools and training institutions - these provide a very supportive network. You will get ideas from the practice of other schools and teachers.
Enrolment on an externally organised programme also eases the burden on schools to provide training. The programme should cover subjects, topics and the most up-to date-practice, which your school may lack the time or expertise to deliver.
Economies of scale should mean value for money. Importantly, going on a course gives you a break from school and time to reflect. However, remember that NQT courses can only supplement the individualised school programme - not replace it.
E-mail your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarah Bubb regrets she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Her book, The Effective Induction of Newly Qualified Teachers, is reviewed on page 23