17th November 2000 at 00:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

I am not getting the support that I should as an NQT. Everyone is very nice but my induction tutor is too busy to meet me or set objectives, and he's only observed me for 15 minutes. My induction half-days are frequently cancelled because the supply teacher has to cover other classes. The school is going through a bad time. The head is off sick and we don't have a deputy. I don't want to make things worse, but what should I do?

I'm sure you don't want to make a fuss, but it is essential to raise your concerns - initially with your induction tutor and then with whoever is acting head. Induction isn't about favours but is a legal requirement that is funded. If you don't meet the standards, you won't be allowed to teach. Induction is meant to help you be a better teacher, benefiting hundreds of children - think of them to give you courage t complain!

Raise issues with sensitivity, emphasising your understanding of the school's present problems and appreciation of the aspects of induction that have been implemented, but pointing out the gaps in provision. Referring to the Induction Circular will depersonalise the situation. Perhaps put your concerns in writing so that you can think carefully about phrasing. This will also demonstrate that you are being proactive, and act as a record.

If there aren't improvements you must raise the issue with the "named person" at your local education authority. They will act on your behalf to ensure that you have an appropriate programme of support, monitoring and assessment. The school may seek help for you from outside until they feel better placed to support you themselves.

Email your questions to: Bubb cannot enter into personal correspondence

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