7th July 2000 at 01:00
Advice for students and NQTs from Sara Bubb

The school that I'm starting work in as an NQT doesn't want me to go on the local education authority induction course. Don't they have to let me attend?

No, the school is under no obligation to send you on courses for induction or anything else. Your headteacher must ensure you have a 10 per cent reduced timetable and a programme of how to spend that time. It should consist of support, monitoring and assessment. Many NQTs spend some of their release time at an induction course, so find out why your head doesn't want you to go, and explain why you think it would be beneficial. These reasons may help you.

The big advantage of joining a centrally organised programme is that NQTs gain a great deal from talking to each other.

It's good to meet friends from college and you'll feel enormously comforted y hearing that others are going through the same problems. No matter how sympathetic experienced members of staff are, it's good to know that you're not the only one who cannot, for instance, get his or her class to assembly on time.

An induction course also eases the burden on schools to provide training. The programme will cover subjects and topics related to the demanding and cutting-edge induction standards, which the school may not have the time or expertise to deliver.

Economy of scale should mean value for money. You will get ideas from the practice of other schools, teachers and NQTs, and time to reflect - which is vital. You can also get advice from the course tutors. This should help improve the teaching and learning in your class.

E-mail your questions to: Bubb cannot enter into personal correspondence

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