NQTs cheated by their schools

16th January 2009 at 00:00
Some new teachers put up with their training funds being plundered

Some newly qualified teachers are cheated out of training because schools use cash dedicated for them elsewhere, experts claim.

Sara Bubb, an induction and NQT specialist at the Institute of Education in London, said fledgling teachers had complained training budgets were not used appropriately. She said they often put up with it because they felt lucky to have found a job.

Strict conditions govern the use of funding given to schools by the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) for NQTs.

"In Wales it is hard to get a job," said Ms Bubb. "Some new teachers put up with a less than perfect situation because it's a buyer's market."

Sue Lyle, principal lecturer at the Swansea School of Education, told TES Cymru that heads appeared to be fighting tight budgets by skimping on training.

"Some (schools) are swallowing the money into their budgets. Increasingly schools are saying we have got to do the training in-house because it's cheaper, but there might not be expertise."

Experts say new teachers must assert their training rights, despite tough competition for jobs.

Dr Phil Dixon, director of ATL Cymru, said some new teacher members had raised concerns.

"Training provision for NQTs is patchy and it can depend on the size of the school. Generally it's of good quality, but some heads are a bit maverick in the way they deal with budgets."

Research by Estyn, undertaken in 2007, revealed some small schools were disadvantaged by the way Early Professional Development (EPD) was distributed; schools must pay for early professional training up front and reclaim the money from the GTCW at the end of the year.

Schools in Wales receive Pounds 3,700 for NQTs on induction and Pounds 1,000 a year for the first two years of early professional development (EPD).

However, many are deploying better support for their NQTs, despite tightening budgets.

Ms Bubb warned new teachers to tread carefully before raising complaints. "Some new teachers think the money should be spent entirely on courses, without realising the money can also be used for cover," said Ms Bubb.

She advises NQTs should approach their induction tutor, followed by the head.

Sue Rivers, induction and EPD co-ordinator at Bedwas High School in Caerphilly, believes that putting NQTs in charge of their own training makes them better teachers. Funding for induction and EPD at Bedwas is strictly separate from the rest of the school's budget.

Another school demonstrating good practice is Ysgol Bryn Elian, in Conway. Mair Herbert, deputy head, said all new teachers at the school are fully involved in decisions about their funding.

Hayden Llewellyn, GTCW deputy chief executive, said the council's role was not to oversee the quality of provision using induction or EPD funding.

But he said: "If it became evident that funding was being misused we would take the matter very seriously and seek to recoup money used for purposes other than induction and EPD."

John Howson on finding a first post in Wales - pages 4-5

Leading article, page 40.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today