23rd February 2001 at 00:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs.

I am an NQT, and the youngest and only male teacher in a small school. I am afraid of the head and deputy as they have caused problems for others. The LEA adviser has told them that though I'm doing well, their level of support and release time are unsatisfactory. This has made life difficult. I want to apply for another job but know the head could ruin my career. If things take a turn for the worse, who will defend me?

Your LEA adviser may be able to suggest a school with a vacancy. If things are as serious as you indicate, you're wise to look for another job - but make sure it's one that you will be happy in. Your head will probably be asked for a reference, but if you're worried that it might be unfavourable make sure you seek another strng referee.

Continue to teach as well as you can. Don't give anyone grounds for saying anything against you. If your head says that you don't meet the standards at the end of the year, don't panic. The LEA makes the final decision.

Your union should also be kept informed and asked to intervene if necessary. It would be a good idea to keep a log of where the school does not fulfil its statutory obligations, and any instances of where you are bullied or discriminated against. This could be cited in an appeal if you do fail induction. To understand the appeal procedures and induction, go to

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

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