Induction waste

5th May 2000 at 01:00
THE reception given to the mandatory induction year for newly-qualified teachers was astonishing. Almost without exception (or precedent) everyone agreed it was A Good Thing. New teachers would make the transition from college to classroom with structured support, free from the uncertainties of the temporary contract. Schools could dismiss weak teachers after the year. Intended result: creating the best possible teachers.

But the devil lies in the detail. The work and cost of induction made some schools reluctant to take new teachers on, especially where government funding isn't permeating the ureaucracy layers. There are almost 400 pages of jobs in this week's TES, but 2,000 new teachers can apparently find only supply work. Four terms of that without induction, and they're out - permanently. Actual result; personal tragedy for thousands of keen new recruits, national loss of much-needed new teachers and the government recruitment drive in tatters.

Something must happen, fast. Rules must be bent for the current batch of uninducted teachers. And funding must be targeted: the newly-qualified should leave college clutching a voucher covering the cost of their induction year.

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