How not to fail

27th January 2006 at 00:00
Is it true that it is impossible to fail your NQT year even if your first two terms were considered satisfactory?

It's possible to fail the final assessment even if you've been deemed to be making satisfactory progress in the first two terms. It's unlikely because induction is set up to give you clear feedback on how you're doing and to support you to meet the standards.

People have failed when the first two terms have been OK when:

* the newly qualified teacher has gone off the boil and relaxed too soon;

* the context has changed, either because the NQT has moved schools or a few new pupils have caused problems;

* ill-health or personal problems are affecting teaching;

* the NQT hasn't acted on the points in the first two reports which, though satisfactory, have areas for development;

* the head has interpreted the standards more rigorously than the induction tutor, and it's the head who makes the recommendation;

* test results show that pupils have not made enough progress so the head investigates the cause and finds problems.


I've been offered a job in a small independent school. How do I find out if the school is eligible for NQT induction? Do they have to apply to their local education authority, and what requirements are needed?

Induction is optional in all independent schools. Most think it's a good thing and would want you to do it, but it is expensive. Most independent schools are good, but some are appalling on all manner of fronts, including teachers' pay and conditions, so keep your wits about you before you accept. If the school agrees to your doing induction and it teaches the national curriculum, they can register you with the Independent Schools Council Teacher Induction Panel (ISCTIP), or the local authority appropriate body. Phone and ask.

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