Stand up for your induction rights

31st October 2003 at 00:00
Advice for teachers in their early career

People who take employment- based routes into teaching might be neglected in their induction year. One guy who did his graduate teacher programme while working in a special school got no induction at all - no meetings, no 10 per cent reduced timetable, nothing. The school thought he didn't get it because he was confident and effective. Oddly, though, it didn't turn down the pound;3,000 local authority contribution. But that's another story.

If you trained in the school where you're a newly qualified teacher, you may find that the staff forget that you're on induction because you're a familiar face: they either neglect you or expect too much. It's flattering, but you are a victim of your own success. But induction is for all NQTs - not just those who are not very good. Indeed, everyone needs it to help them do the best possible job.

The latest induction regulations say that unreasonable demands should not be placed on NQTs. Your headteacher should ensure that your job:

* does not demand teaching outside the age range or subjects for which you have been trained;

* does not present you daily with acute or demanding discipline problems;

* involves you regularly teaching the same class or classes;

* involves similar planning, teaching and assessment processes as for others;

* does not involve additional non-teaching responsibilities without preparation and support.

Jo worked as the network manager, then under the registered teacher programme, then as an NQT - all in the same school. She says: "I have been given sole responsibility for introducing and delivering intermediate GNVQ in ICT as well as for key stage 3 and teaching my second subject, business studies, to Years 10 and 11 - it's too much."

I agree. It is unreasonable. She should complain to her line manager, then the head - and then, if there's still no joy, the person in charge of NQTs at the local authority. Remember, anyone can fail induction - that means never being able to teach in the maintained sector. For your own good - and that of your pupils - speak up for what you are entitled to.

Sara Bubb's The Insider's Guide for New Teachers is published by TESKogan Page (pound;12.99)See www.tes.co.ukbookshop

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