Where do I start?

Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

My head has just given me my NQT induction assessment form for the second term, which should have been sent before Easter. It says I'm not making satisfactory progress. I'm devastated, and particularly upset that I've only just found out.

The first I heard of any problems was when the head observed me a week ago. My department hadn't mentioned any serious problems to me. I have had no mentor or meetings since before Easter, and I've had only about four proper observations. Passing will be difficult with only six weeks left, so I've resigned and will leave in July. Any advice?

How awful! Your school is not complying with England's induction regulations, but, unfortunately, it's your career that's at risk. If your head decides you're still not meeting the standards by the end of term, he will have to recommend to the LEA, in its role as appropriate body, that you don't pass. If the LEA agrees - and the ultimate decision lies with the authority - you'll be removed from the General Teaching Council's register and never be allowed to teach in the maintained or non-maintained special sector again. Unless the rules are changed you won't be allowed to retake induction.

The fact that you've resigned makes no difference as the decision still has to be made. You may have made it easier for the head to fail you as he won't have to face you again, but he may pass you as he'll perceive you as someone else's problem.

You can appeal. Most appeals are successful, and you have a strong chance as the school hasn't complied with the regulations. But I would take the following action immediately: l Ask the head and induction tutor to put in writing what you have to do to pass, and what support you'll have. Maybe he's trying to make you pull up your socks and has no intention of failing you.l Inform the person in charge of NQTs at the LEA of the situation. The LEA may override the head's decision or grant a term's extension.l Seek union advice.l Document all contraventions of the Induction Circular (www.dfes.gov.uk).

Consider doing what others have done and leave now, or get a doctor to sign you off so that you don't finish the final term. That way, the school can't complete the final assessment form on you. You may then be able to do the third term in another school, and with any luck will pass.

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;15

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