Two-year reprieve for teacher who failed induction

4th June 2004 at 01:00
NQT said she was not given enough support. Tara Fawcett reports

A newly-qualified teacher who failed her induction year, after struggling to cope with a class which included a pupil with attention deficit disorder and two asylum-seekers, has been given another chance.

Louise Reddy has another two years to pass her induction, after England's General Teaching Council ruled there were flaws in the way she was assessed.

The council said that because she was not always aware there were problems, she was unable to deal with them.

Miss Reddy joined St Joseph's Roman Catholic primary school in Bolton, Lancashire, as a key stage 2 teacher in September 2002. She had qualified three months earlier from Newman college of higher education in Birmingham.

She told the GTC hearing last week that she was not adequately supported by Bolton council during her induction year, when she had to cope with children with behavioural and learning difficulties.

Miss Reddy did not have a classroom assistant, and said that she received only occasional help with two pupils who were asylum-seekers and had little grasp of English.

For two terms, she also had sole responsibility for a boy with attention deficit disorder until the council engaged a classroom assistant in the third term.

The boy had behavioural problems and spent a couple of days a week at a special school while he was integrated into lessons.

The GTC heard that Miss Reddy had received conflicting reports about her work. The school had assessed her as weak and had concerns about her but failed to inform her.

Instead, her progress in the first term was marked as satisfactory.

At the end of the second term Miss Reddy was marked as unsatisfactory. She then learned that Bolton council, who had observed two lessons and marked them as unsatisfactory, had advised the school to grade the first term in the same way.

Though she failed the second term, her lessons were not observed for three months. The panel heard that her planning was assessed on only one occasion during the year, just before the work was due to be handed in for assessment.

Miss Reddy's last term was marked as satisfactory and the school passed her induction year. However, Bolton council overruled the school's decision and failed her.

Cliff Anderson, Miss Reddy's representative, said that she accepted that she had weaknesses in parts of her professional development but he maintained that there was evidence that she was a capable teacher.

He said: "I believe that she has been seriously misled and the responsibilities of the school and the local authority were not met.

"The reason Louise finds herself in the position she is in today is because she fell between the two parties."

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