23rd January 2009 at 00:00
Those first few steps into teaching can seem like a massive hill to climb. Here, Jeff Cull, explains simply and clearly how the process works

All qualified teachers employed in a relevant school (including maintained schools, non-maintained special schools, some maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units) must by law have completed an induction period satisfactorily (subject to specified exceptions) to be able to teach in this sector.

Induction can be served in:

- Relevant schools (see above).

- Some independent schools (including academies and city technology colleges).

- Some FE institutions (including sixth form colleges).

- School or an FE institution in Wales in which an induction period may be served under Welsh regulations.

The induction period is designed to ensure all teachers are prepared for teaching in maintained schools, non-maintained special schools and some independent schools, sixth form colleges and FE institutions in their first period (usually a year) of teaching after gaining qualified teacher status. Such teachers are referred to as newly qualified teachers (NQTs). Induction combines a personalised programme of development, support and professional dialogue, with monitoring, and an assessment of performance against the core standards ( resulting in the headteacher recommending that the standards are met or not and the appropriate body making the final decision.

Induction will usually last for the equivalent of three school terms (part-time staff will take proportionately longer) and induction must be successfully completed to continue teaching in a relevant school in England. These induction arrangements apply to anyone awarded qualified teacher status, by whatever route, from May 1999. Those awarded QTS before then, along with some other categories of teachers, are exempt.

Your induction programme will help you develop the knowledge and skills gained during initial teacher training, help you to meet the core standards and provide a foundation for your continuing professional development towards becoming a more effective teacher. You should expect to play an active part in planning and reviewing your induction programme, which should be tailored to your needs.

Before induction you must:

- Have passed your skills test.

- Been awarded QTS by the General Teaching Council for England.

It would be advisable to:

- Visit the school, if possible observe classes you may be teaching next year and meet your mentor and other colleagues to gather relevant resources and schemes of work.

- Read relevant parts of the statutory induction guidance from the Department for Children, Schools and Families and any documentation you've been given.

Entitlements during induction:

- A timetable of no more than 90 per cent of other classroom teachers in your school (without responsibility points).

- Meet with your induction tutor to plan your induction programme and development objectives, and the support you will receive.

- Consider your development needs and prepare an outline action plan.

By the end of your first half-term:

- Your induction tutor should have observed your teaching and given you constructive feedback.

- Meet your headteacherprincipal andor induction tutor for your first professional progress review; if necessary, revise your objectives.

- Update your action plan.

By the end of the first term:

- Participate in planned, focused professional development activities relating to your objectives.

- Meet your headteacherprincipal andor induction tutor for a second progress review, if necessary, revise your objectives, and keep a record of the discussion; review your action plan.

- Meet your headteacherprincipal andor induction tutor for your first formal assessment meeting. The meeting will focus on how well you're meeting the QTS standards, and your progress towards meeting the core standards.

By the end of your second term:

- Meet your induction tutor for your third professional progress review to discuss your support programme and objectives, as well as their observations of your teaching; revise your objectives if necessary, and keep a record of the discussion.

- Participate in more planned and focused professional development activities, including opportunities for observing other teachers.

- Meet your headteacherprincipal andor induction tutor for your second formal assessment; this will focus on your progress towards meeting the core standards.

By the end of the third term:

- Meet your induction tutor for further professional progress reviews to discuss your support programme and objectives, as well as their observations of your teaching; revise your objectives if necessary, and keep a record of the discussion.

- Participate in further planned and focused professional development activities, including opportunities for observing other teachers;

- Working with your induction tutor, look back at your induction period, reflect on your progress and start work on objectives and a professional development plan for your second year of teaching. (For those working in the maintained sector, this will contribute to the discussion you will have with your performance management reviewer).

Part-time teachers:

- are entitled to the same level of support, including professional progress reviews and formal assessments, but the time frames will be different to reflect the length of their induction periods.


Q: How much non-contact time am I entitled to?

A: In maintained schools, the head must ensure a reduced timetable for teachers taking part in induction. This means teaching for no more than 90 per cent of the time that other classroom teachers would be expected to teach at the same school. NQTs in independent schools and further education colleges must also have a comparable reduced timetable. This time is an entitlement to be used for planned developmental activities and should be protected and allocated in meaningful blocks.

Q: What should I do if I don't receive my entitlement?

A: If you have concerns about the content or administration of your induction programme, initially raise them informally with your induction tutor; otherwise you may follow the school or college's formal procedures. If your concerns go beyond the school, or are not addressed, you will have a named contact to talk to outside your school or college. This will normally be either someone within the local authority or the Independent Schools Council teacher induction panel.

Do not put off raising any concerns; the earlier you do, the earlier steps can be taken to improve the situation.

Q: What should I expect of my induction tutor?

A: They will have QTS and be appropriately experienced.

They will be in regular contact with you and be aware of the induction requirements and have the time to carry out the role effectively.

As well as any tasks delegated by the headteacherprincipal, responsibilities also include:

- Ensuring you understand the roles of those involved in induction, including your entitlements and the responsibility to take an active role in your own development; working with you to organise and implement a programme of monitoring, support and assessment that takes forward your action plan; this should recognise the needs and strengths identified, the core standards and the specific context of the school.

- Co-ordinating or undertaking at least six observations of your teaching, plus follow-up talks.

- Working with you to review professional progress against their objectives and the core standards.

- Ensuring the you know about assessment during induction.

- Keeping dated records of monitoring and support, plus formative and summative assessment activities undertaken, and their outcomes.

The induction tutor should take prompt and appropriate action where you are experiencing difficulties.

The induction tutor will provide formative assessment and often be involved in the formal, summative assessment at the end of induction. Support and assessment functions may be split between two or more teachers, depending on the school. If it chooses to take this approach, one person must have day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating the induction programme. It is important for responsibilities to be clearly specified at the outset.

In a large school, a senior member of staff may oversee induction arrangements for all NQTs. This role - sometimes referred to as induction coordinator - is in addition to the induction tutors with direct responsibility for individual NQTs.

Q: What documentation do I need to keep in my induction year?

A: Copies of all assessment forms and any review notes, and a note of the start and end dates of the induction period, plus any periods of absence. Also note any period of induction completed in different schoolscolleges and any breaks during the period.

Keep the action plans developed with the induction tutor, plus the career entry and development profile or alternative. The profile is primarily an online resource aimed at trainee and NQTs. It will encourage you to focus on achievements and goals early on, and discuss your professional development needs. Visit

Q: Can I do induction as a supply teacher?

A: It is possible providing that the schoolcollege is suitable, the placement is for a term or longer, the headteacher is in agreement, the post is suitable and the duties and entitlements are available on the same basis as any other inductee.

Q: Can I do short-term supply teaching during my induction?

A: Yes, but short-term supply work - less than a term - can only be done for 16 months. This begins when an NQT takes up their first supply post and continues regardless of their later employment.

Q: Can I do induction in sixth form and FE colleges?

A: Yes. FE institutions and sixth form colleges that wish to offer an NQT a post in which to complete a statutory induction period, must ensure that:

- The NQT has qualified teacher status awarded by GTCE.

- The post is suitable for induction (see previous page).

- A local authority is prepared to act as the appropriate body.

- The NQT has adequate opportunity to further develop their knowledge, understanding and experience of the day-to-day practices in a remodelled school.

- The NQT has a reduced timetable on a comparable basis to NQTs working in relevant schools.

- Normally no more than 10 per cent of the NQTs teaching in the FE institution is devoted to teaching classes predominantly consisting of pupils aged 19 and over.

- The NQT must spend the equivalent of at least ten days teaching children of compulsory school age in a school.

- Every effort is made to provide the NQT with 15 days' experience in a school setting in addition to those mandatory ten days.

- The NQT is appointed an induction tutor who holds QTS.

Q: How does induction differ in EnglandScotland and Wales?

A: Any period of induction of a term or more in Wales will count towards an induction period in England (and vice versa).

Please see below for links to arrangements in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Q: Where can I find more information on induction?

A: The Department for Schools, Children and Families' statutory guidance is an essential document. Visit

Also check the induction pages on the TDA website (, especially the popular questions.

To check records, you can contact the GTCE at, or write to, or to for other induction enquiries.

If you have a query, call the TDA induction helpline on 0207 023 8028, between 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you can email

Q: How will induction differ in secondary and primary schools?

A: In a large school, such as a secondary school, a senior member of staff may oversee induction arrangements for all NQTs across the school. This role is in addition to the induction tutors with direct responsibility for NQTs.

After your induction

For many NQTs, the transition from initial teacher training to induction marks a new phase of learning and development. Similarly, the end of the induction period means taking increased responsibility for your professional development.

The end of your induction provides an opportunity for you and your induction tutor to review your professional development and take stock of what has been achieved.

The review should also focus on your early professional development needs and prepare you for the school's performance management arrangements. Find out about setting second-year objectives.

You may wish to get involved in initial training and induction within your school. Many teachers find that passing on what they have learned - as a school-based ITT tutor or induction tutor - is one of the most effective professional development activities of all.

Jeff Cull is programme leader of NQT induction at TDA.

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