8th December 2000 at 00:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs An NQT, the daughter of a friend, is running herself into the ground planning for more than 40 reception children every morning so that other teachers can teach Year 1 and 2 sets. She has to plan for a nursery nurse and an ancillary who are with 20 children in another room, while she teaches the rest. She has her own class of 29 in the afternoons without help. What can she do?

This is outrageous. What on earth is her head thinking of? It makes a mockery of the extra funding to ensure classes are kept under 30. As an NQT, your friend's daughter should be expected to teach only her own class.

The induction circular protects NQTs from "unreasonable" demands made on them and she should draw the head's attention to paragraph 28d, which says that an NQT's job should "involve similar planning, teaching and asessment processes to those in which teachers working in substantive posts are engaged". Clearly she is being expected to do much more than other teachers.

It might be useful to make parents aware of the situation - I'm sure that if they knew what was happening they would complain. Their children would surely be learning more if they were in their own classes. The nursery nurse and ancillary should also be encouraged to complain since they are taking responsibilities that they shouldn't have to.

As for how she goes about it, she should raise it with her induction tutor or talk to the head direct. She also should inform her union and the local authority person responsible for NQTs.

Email your questions to: Bubb regrets she cannot enter into personal correspondence.More of your questions answered at

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