Indignant on the NQT front;Letter

2nd April 1999 at 01:00
ON READING your report on the new induction year for newly-qualified teachers (TES, March 19) my initial reaction was one of indignation.

As an NQT who has been supportively monitored during my initial year of teaching, I can well understand the benefits which this probationary year might provide. The constructive advice which has been offered to me since I started teaching has enabled me to grow in understanding and confidence of the many differing aspects which teaching encompasses.

However, the article suggested that the probationary year should be approached not with an attitude of fault-finding - acknowledging that it provides, thank goodness, a final opportunity to spot and sift out failing new teachers.

That this "extra year to spot the future failure" is deemed to be necessary by so many, reflects a general lack of confidence in the structure, teaching and assessment methods provided during initial teacher training.

Surely it would be more beneficial to invest money in improving and restructuring teacher training as it stands now, ensuring that those qualifying have been well supported and informed throughout their training; rather than "wasting money" on searching out the NQTs who have "slipped through the net" and have not been adequately trained, monitored and supported during their initial training.

I am in full support of any policy which would benefit, support and inform the practice of the NQT. However, it is essential that any such policy recognises and develops the NQT's strengths and professional capabilities.

Julie Straughan Cannock, Staffordshire

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