The progress report at the end of the first term is a crucial part of your development
You may be wrapped up in your preparations for Christmas, but don't forget your meeting about the end-of-term induction report. It's probably the last thing your head and induction tutor feel like doing, but it is vital for you. If you don't have a date set yet, remind them. Your "appropriate body" (the local education authority) should send the form to your head, but it can be printed off at www.teachernet.gov.ukdocbankindex.cfm?id=5169 If your school hasn't received the form, check with the LEA that you are registered as an NQT. Even if you are on the payroll and go on induction courses, you may still not be registered with the LEA's named person. You should know who that is - if not, speak to your induction tutor or contact the LEAand ask to speak to the person responsible for NQTs.
PREPARING FOR ASSESSMENT
Don't waste time photocopying evidence of how you have been meeting the standards. You have been setting targets, planning, teaching, assessing, managing pupils, using individual education plans, working with support staff, talking to pupils' parents, implementing school policies and taking an active part in your professional development - in fact, everything covered by the standards for induction and qualified teacher status. Talk about the standards with your induction tutor to find out what progress you are making.
FOCUS ON THE DETAILS
Your head must tick one of two statements to say that your progress so far suggests that you will meet or not meet the requirements for satisfactory completion of induction. You cannot "fail" the first or second term of your induction. What matters is the judgement at the end of the third term. If you are not making enough progress, then you, your school and LEA need to ensure that suitable support and monitoring are in place to give you every chance of success. Identify the main issues and potential problems with your induction tutor, and plan ways to deal with them.Think about what you are doing well and which areas are merely OK, and work out what you need to do to improve.
IF IT'S ALL TOO MUCH
If things are just too awful, you could resign and carry on with your induction at a better time and place. Speak frankly to your head and induction tutor about your chances of being able to turn things round. No matter which box the head ticks about your progress, the report should outline your strengths and areas for further development along with the targets and the support planned for next term.
Your induction tutor will probably be responsible for writing about how well you are doing under the three headings for the standards: professional values and practice; knowledge and understanding; and teaching.
Be pro-active and give your induction tutor notes about how well you think you are meeting the standards - he or she will be delighted. Make sure you are happy about what has been written about you, and that it is a fair reflection of your practice. In your assessment meeting, you could suggest revisions to any comments that you are not entirely happy with.
GET WHAT YOU DESERVE
The head is responsible for ticking the boxes that indicate the kinds of monitoring and support that have been in place so far. These include: your 10 per cent reduced timetable; discussions about your career entry and development profile; a support plan; any discussions you may have had with your induction tutor to set targets and review progress; details of any observations of your teaching every half-term; your observations of other teachers' practice; and an assessment meeting. If any of the above has been left out, don't allow the appropriate boxes to be ticked - if you are not getting your full entitlement, then your LEA needs to be informed.
MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU
You can choose whether or not to make a comment on the report. Some NQTs say which parts of their induction have been most useful; some defend themselves; others write about their strengths and areas for further development.
That is what is meant to happen, and for most people the process is quite straightforward. But there are cases of poor practice. For example, one NQT's assessment meeting and report were not sorted out until the end of the second term. Another said: "I've never seen the written reports." Some assessment meetings amount to no more than 10 minutes grabbed at lunchtime, and without the head present. But that is not good enough. The assessment process should leave you happy, clear about your strengths and about where you need to make improvements. So do everything possible to make induction work for you.
* "I have been told that I am unlikely to meet the induction standards, even with the extra support I have been given. This makes me feel even worse than I did already - it's one thing to suspect it, but another to hear it."
Mandi, a struggling NQT
* "My school has only just realised it has to send a report to the LEA. I've had no support from my induction tutor and have struggled to meet my targets. I've only had two weeks with release time this half-term, so I've had no time to observe, and haven't been observed. There's no time for my review, so it's being left until January."
Eddie, a dissatisfied newcomer