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If a report following a termly assessment meeting indicates that you are at risk of failing to complete the induction period satisfactorily, you should contact ATL immediately and we will be able to advise you during every stage of the process.
The report form sent by your headteacher to the appropriate body should set out:
However, before this happens:
If you have any doubts about whether someone other than your induction tutor is observing you, and for what reason, you should ensure that you find out. It is very important that all these procedures take place in line with the government’s guidance.
As soon as it is recognised that you may fail to complete the induction period satisfactorily, both the headteacher and the appropriate body should assure themselves that:
This is where consistent and sustained support from ATL can help. It is critically important that you understand the reasons why you may be at risk of not completing the induction period and that you feel confident there is a strategy to ensure you can be helped to improve.
Don't be afraid to ask for clarification from your headteacher and your induction tutor, and for specific advice on what to do.
In essence, you should do all you can to comply and you should always be able to show that you have followed advice and taken action. Where your local authority (LA) has provided examples of effective teaching and learning that reaches the standards, you should read this carefully and discuss it with your induction tutor.
The appropriate body should respond to a request from your school for guidance, support and assistance for you. If your school does not request such help on your behalf and you feel you cannot raise this with your induction tutor, you should ask your ATL representative to raise this for you.
If you do not think the support being provided is adequate, you are entitled to raise this with the ‘named contact’. ATL can advise you on this, if you are a member.
What happens if I still do not make satisfactory progress?
A small number of NQTs may struggle to show that they are reaching the standards required during their induction year.
If this applies to you, it will become even more important to be clear about what you have to do to reach a satisfactory standard if you are still in this position at the end of the second term. You should continue to do all you can to demonstrate that you have followed advice and taken action.
If you’ve been told that you are making unsatisfactory progress, don’t despair. You will not necessarily fail your induction! Elizabeth Holmes, author of ATL’s publication Apply yourself!, offers the following advice.
If you have been told that you're making unsatisfactory progress, you should also have been told exactly what your particular issues are and how you can address them to ensure that your progress improves and that you can pass your induction period.
These points will help you if you have been told that you are making unsatisfactory progress:
As soon as you are told this, the level of support that you receive should be stepped up with immediate effect. It is important to keep a written record of the additional support that you receive and when you receive it just in case you need to appeal to the GTCE at a later date. Any such written records will be invaluable.
You must raise any concerns you have about the accuracy of the assessments made of you as soon as possible. You can do this by contacting the person within your LA with responsibilities for NQTs. Again, keep a written record ot any such communication.
You should confirm with your induction tutor and headteacher the precise areas of concern in your work as a teacher. It should be possible to identify exactly what needs to improve and how this can be achieved. If it isn't, raise this with your LA.
You should have new and appropriate objectives set that will help you to achieve the Induction Standards.
You should have had the consequences of not making satisfactory progress explained to you by your headteacher.
If you have any additional concerns about the level of progress you are making and the support that you are receiving, you should discuss this with your union.
It you think that the situation is causing you negative stress, discuss your symptoms with your chosen health care provider. You may also like to seek advice from Teacher Support Line: 08000 562 561. You can also get advice about your situation from the DfES induction team, which you can contact on 0870 000 2288.
This text is taken from page 66 of Elizabeth Holmes’ book FAQs for NQTs: Practical advice and working solutions for newly qualified teachers. (2006) Routledge. Hardback ISBN: 0415367956; price £65 Paperback ISBN 0415367964; price £16.99.
What happens if, at my final assessment, I am not considered satisfactory?
ATL does not want this to happen to anyone and will provide as much help as possible to its members to try and help them to avoid it. However, in such an event the details of the procedures are set out in the government’s guidance. Your headteacher must send you a copy of the recommendation as to whether you have, or have not, satisfactorily completed induction.
If you have not been successful, you must seek advice from ATL’s member advisors immediately as long as you are a member.
The appropriate body must take into account written representations from you (providing that these are received within 10 working days of the headteacher's recommendation) and it can decide whether you should have an extension. It is vital, therefore, that you receive advice from ATL (if you are a member) on what to put in your written representation. LAs should be prepared to give you a personal hearing, which your ATL representative could attend with you.
Extensions are normally granted only in exceptional circumstances. Examples of this might be where, for unforeseen reasons or reasons beyond the control of one or more of the parties, it became unreasonable to expect you to meet the requirements. Extensions might also be granted if there is insufficient evidence on which to decide if the induction requirements have been met.
If you fail induction, you will not be eligible for employment in a maintained school or non-maintained special school. However, you can teach in an independent school, a city technology college or do private tuition. Your qualified teacher status will not be taken away. You can, however, appeal against the decision.
The appeals procedure is set out in Annex D of the government’s guidance. If you wish to appeal, ATL can give you support and help in using all the rights of appeal.
If you are a member, ATL will advise you if it would be prudent for you to appeal against an extension or the decision that you had failed induction. Appeals will be to the General Teaching Council.
What if I am unhappy with the quality of the induction provided by my school?
The government’s guidance emphasises that it is your responsibility, if you are not satisfied with any aspect of your induction, to act as quickly as possible. In the first instance, you should raise your concerns with the school using the internal procedures, including those involving the governing body. However, ATL's advice is that you should always first seek advice from your ATL representative or branch secretary if you are an ATL member. It is the headteacher's responsibility to make sure that your concerns are addressed satisfactorily.
The arrangements for induction do make provision for NQTs who feel their school is not providing an induction programme as set out in the Induction Regulations. Under the Induction Regulations, the Appropriate Body, ie the LA or the ISCTIP for independent schools, has responsibilities for the training and supervision of NQTs. It should also ensure that headteachers and governing bodies are aware of, and are capable of, meeting their responsibilities.
The appropriate body must identify a named contact with whom the NQT can raise issues about induction that have not been resolved within the school.
The government’s guidance advises that, if you feel your concerns have not been addressed by the school, or if your concerns go beyond the school's systems and procedures, you should contact this named contact at the appropriate body.
The named contact must not be directly involved in providing monitoring and support for NQTs or in making decisions about the satisfactory completion of the induction year.
If you wish to raise your concerns with your school/ governing body or, where not resolved, with the named contact at your LA/ISCTIP, please contact ATL for advice, if you are a member. In doing so, you will be able to:
• discuss your problem, and the reason for wanting to speak to the named contact
• receive further advice and support on the action to take next and guidance on whether and how the named contact should be involved.
New teachers frequently report problems with discipline during their first months in the classroom. So what do you do if you’ve been told that you may fail induction because you can’t resolve discipline issues? Elizabeth Holmes, author of ATL’s publication Apply yourself!, offers the following advice.
The moment your induction tutor and headteacher think that you may be at risk of failing, they should arrange for you to receive an increased level of targeted support. This means that if discipline is the big issue, you should be observed with your classes now, the specific problems should be identified and steps taken to provide you with help, advice and workable solutions that relate to you and the environment in which you're working.
It's not only down to you to sort the discipline issues out: your induction tutor, head teacher and any other teachers who are acting as buddies or profes¬sional 'friends' should be stepping up the support that you receive. It would also be a good idea to talk to the person with responsibilities for NQTs at your LA about it all. They should be able to oversee any additional support that you get to ensure that you have the best chance of getting through.
This text is taken from page 60 of Elizabeth Holmes’ book FAQs for NQTs: Practical advice and working solutions for newly qualified teachers.
ATL is here to help
ATL wants to ensure that you have every opportunity for a productive and successful induction period, so do make use of all the advice and help that we can offer on any issue that concerns you. If you haven’t joined ATL, remember that it’s free to students and as a newly qualified member of ATL, you won’t pay anything for your first 18 months.
Your ATL representative at your school
Your first port of call should be your ATL representative. Your representative will be able to offer you practical and personal support, and can be an invaluable colleague in helping you to understand the organisational culture of your school, the personalities of those responsible for your induction, and perhaps even the ‘background politics’ which could influence the support you receive.
If you do not know your ATL representative, please contact your local branch secretary.
Your local ATL branch
Your branch secretary can provide help and advice from a local angle, especially on the guidance and expectations your LA will have for its NQTs, and will have details of the named contact for NQTs.
If you do not know the name/telephone number of your ATL branch secretary, please contact ATL on 020 7930 6441.
For further advice on this issue, ATL members can speak to their school rep, their branch secretary or their regional official. They can also call the London (020 7930 6441), Cardiff (029 2046 5000) or Belfast office (02890 327 990) or email email@example.com.
For out of hours enquiries, call the out of office hours helpline on 020 7782 1612 (Monday-Friday, 5.00 - 7.30pm during term time).
If you are not a member, join online now.