New staff lose time for training

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
More than a fifth of NQTs are not getting a day out of class

`Thousands of newly-qualified teachers are being denied their right of a day a week away from class for training and lesson preparation, a survey shows.

New teachers are entitled to half a day's training on top of the half day all teachers get for marking and lesson preparation.

Yet almost half spend no more than an hour each week on professional development to achieve induction standards. Up to one in seven failed to get their full entitlement of 10 per cent of time for professional development.

A fifth are not receiving all their 10 per cent planning, preparation and assessment time, the National Union of Teachers survey of 141 NQTs found.

Many schools had told teachers they could not afford to give them the time away from the classroom to which they are entitled.

New teachers in primary schools were more likely than their secondary colleagues to spend more than an hour each week on training and professional development. Secondary teachers were more likely to have to give up non-contact time to cover for absent colleagues.

A female teacher in her late 20s was quoted in the report, saying: "My NQT time is blocked so I do not get 10 per cent every week. Maybe 20 per cent every so often. I only get 10 per cent lesson preparation time every two weeks. The school cannot offer it to me every week due to its finances."

The survey showed evidence of improvement since the induction year was introduced in 1999. In 2000-1, almost a fifth of NQTs were not on a reduced timetable.

Most new teachers had a positive view of their induction year praising the support they got from their school. They said they were set useful targets and that their progress was fairly assessed.

Ruth Archer, currently completing her induction at Russet House special school in Enfield, has received her full non-contact time.

"It has been important to observe other teachers especially for me going into a special needs school when I didn't train in SEN. I have also been able to meet other NQTs at local authority induction sessions. It is important to realise you are not the only one finding things difficult."

Steve Sinnott, the NUT's general secretary, said: "There is a core of new teachers who are treated badly in terms of both PPA and induction time."

One newly-qualified teacher had not been given a job description, while others complained they were expected to carry out extra-curricular activities.

Almost a third of NQTs doubted their school was adequately prepared for their induction, a quarter complained their mentor did not have sufficient support and a similar number had not received necessary information.

Fewer than half of secondary NQTs had been given the name of someone at the local authority with whom they could raise concerns about induction.

* jon.slater@tes.co.uk

IF YOU ARE MISSING OUT...

1 Talk to your line manager.

2 Seek union advice.

3 Keep cool, don't lose your temper.

4 Explain to the school it needs to get the best out of you. You are no good to anyone if you are not able to get to grips with the job.

5 If that doesn't work contact your regional union office for advice.

NUT advice

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