Red tape could cost me my teaching career

3rd October 2014 at 01:00

Just over two years ago, I decided that I could make a difference to young people by becoming a teacher.

I left my job and embarked on a PGCE in secondary maths.

The university placed me at a local further education college to complete my second and final placement. At the end of this, the college offered me a teaching post. I became a lecturer in GCSE and functional maths.

I took up the role at the end of August 2013 and discussed completing my newly qualified teacher induction with my supervisor, who allocated a mentor. A few weeks later, I was informed that the induction would be the responsibility of my head of department. I discussed this with her and then left the process in her capable hands.

I was observed several times throughout the year, and was always given a grading of good or better. Along with my normal lessons, I was asked to teach level 3 maths and physics to aeronautical engineering students and was successful. I was also asked to deliver an intensive 12-hour course - leading to a City amp; Guilds level 2 qualification - to electrical engineering students. Although the college did not expect them to pass in the limited time available, 70 per cent of them did.

Then disaster struck. Towards the end of the year, I asked about my induction, only to discover that I should have been registered with the local authority at the beginning of the year but was not. The college tried to negotiate with the authority but to no avail. I contacted the authority myself and was told that because I wasn't registered they couldn't help. Furthermore, even if I were to register for the following year, I would not be allowed a shorter induction and would have to teach at a school for at least 10 days.

Surely this system is in place to ensure that capable teachers achieve qualified teacher status? The college believes I should be awarded QTS as I have completed a year of teaching and met all the standards, but they can't help. I don't know what to do.

The writer is a trainee FE lecturer in the South of England

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