Where do I start?

17th January 2003 at 00:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

Is there a certain amount of time that induction tutors should get for completion of NQT issues, such as filling in forms and so on, or are they supposed to do everything in their own time? I don't think the head gave my induction tutor the full story about the things she would be expected to do. She thought she would be taking more of a supportive role and offering a friendly shoulder to cry on.

There isn't any allocated time for induction tutors to do their job. This is a problem, particularly as many people are like your induction tutor: they take on the role thinking it's just a supportive one, whereas it takes up a lot of time and calls for a great deal of skill. In the research I did at the Institute of Education for the Department for Education and Skills, I concluded that there should be earmarked funding for induction tutors. The end of term report takes about two hours to write; meetings take at least 30 minutes a week; observations take half a day every half-term if you count the preparation and feedback. So the job significantly adds to their workload. Headteachers must realise this and plan release time accordingly.

Is it essential to have a driver's licence to teach physical education? Is it needed for extracurricular activities and school fixtures? Would I be expected to learn to drive? What would happen if, for example, the football team that I was in charge of had away fixtures every other week? In the interview, should I tell the panel that I don't have a licence? Would this lessen my chances of selection?

You don't need a driver's licence to be a PE teacher. You just need to meet the QTS standards in that subject. However, don't make a point of telling schools that you can't drive because, although it shouldn't make a difference, some people might consider it a handicap.

In order to drive pupils in a minibus you would need to undergo specific training and have a special licence. Obviously you need to have a clean driving licence first. There must be a second adult aboard to deal with the pupils, thus leaving the driver to concentrate on driving. I would not be prepared to take responsibility for driving other people's children. I would worry about what would happen if I was involved in a crash and pupils were injured or killed. Teaching them is more than enough of a responsibility, in my view.

Are you a student or NQT? Email your questions to: susan.young@newsint.co.uk. Sara Bubb's A Newly Qualified Teacher's Manual: how to meet the induction standards is published by David Fulton, pound;16

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