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Unqualified but teaching

I am in my NQT year at the school I spent my first placement at in my PGCE year. The school offered me the job before I left for my second placement.

I accepted on the understanding that when I returned in September I'd be qualified. I passed my PGCE, but I am unable to pass the numeracy skills test.Without all three, I don't have QTS. I was under the impression that I had three years in which to pass these tests. My mentor, head of department and the head's PA were aware of the situation and had told me not to worry.

I have received a letter from the local education authority informing me that they don't have proof of my QTS and unless I provide it within two weeks my contract is "nul and void". The obvious answer is to take and pass the numeracy test in the next two weeks, but I can't just do it, I'll fail again. I have no time to prepare. I spend every waking moment involved in school stuff - I barely have time to sleep as it is.

* Everyone has to pass each one and there's no way round it - what makes you think you should be an exception? I can't believe you thought you had three years to do it in, and that you don't have QTS without passing all three.

Everyone is told that in their training course.

Book the test and keep taking it until you pass. I know you're busy but you've got to prioritise the test. Practise what you haven't done well in, don't give up. Get help from a maths teacher if you have to. As for your contract, your LEA's line is fair. They thought they were getting a qualified teacher and they haven't. Ask if you can be kept on as an unqualified teacher, for the sake of the pupils. Show the school and LEA that you are determined. Go for it!

* We're happy to answer your problems about any aspect of your NQT year.

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