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Training of new recruits neglected

MOST schools are failing to provide adequate training and support for new teachers, inspectors will say today.

The Office for Standards in Education criticised training in more than half of the schools it visited.

Chief inspector David Bell said the evidence showed that schools needed to look again at the systems for supporting new teachers.

"At a time when we are so concerned about retaining good teachers in schools, these are worrying findings," he said.

"Without effective training and development it is impossible for a school to achieve lasting success."

Inspectors studied a sample of 63 primary, secondary and special schools to evaluate the professional development support for staff in their first three years of teaching.

They found that the majority failed to provide adequate career development opportunities, nor did they identify and address individuals' training needs.

Six out of 10 also had poor or unsatisfactory ways of reviewing teachers'

progress at the end of their induction year.

Inspectors criticised schools for not treating the professional development of teachers in their second or third years of work any differently from that of established staff.

Only a small number had systems to spot outstanding new teachers and offer them training towards roles in middle management.

Most teachers interviewed said that the most valuable form of career development had been observing effective teachers and coaching from teacher mentors.

Mr Bell singled out Chelmsford county high school for girls for praise. It is due to host a joint day of training with 10 other Essex schools today.

Headteacher Monica Curtis said junior staff had benefited from extra training because the 10 schools were in a "Network Learning Community", a project supported by the National College for School Leadership.

The scheme gives pound;50,000 plus advice to groups of schools which get together to provide training.

Performance management, 27 "Teachers' early professional development" is available on the web at www.ofsted.co.uk

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