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In Scotland NQTs must complete a period of probation, whether by the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) of 190 teaching days or the Alternative Route of 270 teaching days, before being granted full registration with GTCS. In Northern Ireland there are different arrangements for the induction stage. Teachers who complete this stage in Northern Ireland are exempt from the Induction Regulations if they later teach in English schools.
Induction has been a statutory requirement for NQTs who begin teaching in Wales from September 2003. Periods of one term or more completed under the Induction Regulations in Wales can be counted towards induction in England, and service under the Induction Regulations in England can be counted towards induction in Wales. The induction system in Wales does differ from that in England but most of the general advice on these pages will be relevant.
The statutory basis of induction
The requirements for induction are set out:
The Induction Standards set out the criteria against which NQTs will be assessed.
Throughout 2005/06, ATL worked with the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) on a review of the professional standards for teachers in England, including those for qualified teachers status (QTS) and for teachers at the end of the induction period.
The revised standards can be viewed on the TDA website and will come into effect during the 2006/07 academic year (except the revised QTS standards which are likely to have a later launch date).
The impact of these revisions will be minimal for the individual NQT but please keep an eye on this website, which will be updated with all the latest information.
The induction system
The induction system was introduced with a legal footing to ensure that all NQTs have a systematic and consistent induction with thorough assessment, and to establish that every NQT should receive a programme of monitoring and support during their first year of teaching.
The intention is that induction helps develop informed professionalism by providing significant opportunities for you to show your potential, to make rapid advancement towards excellence in teaching and to begin to make a real impact on your school's development. Induction is seen as providing a firm foundation for your future professional and career development. Clearly a positive induction experience is crucial in being able to pursue your teaching career.
Does induction apply to you?
This advice is primarily intended for those who come under the statutory requirements for induction and have a contract of employment for one term or more in a maintained setting.
To be eligible to begin induction you must have been awarded QTS after 7 May 1999 and you must secure a suitable post for at least a full term, although this could be on a part-time basis. Periods of supply teaching of less than one term or intermittent supply teaching cannot count towards the induction year.
Induction can also be completed in:
It is usual for teachers to complete induction in the first year of teaching, although for teachers on a part-time contract this will be proportionately longer.
Those who qualified before 7 May 1999, even though they may be teaching for the first time, are not required to complete this formal induction year. An exception is also made for teachers who, although they gained QTS after 7 May 1999, have taught for at least two terms in Wales before September 2003. They are eligible to teach in England without undertaking an induction period.
Neither do the Induction Regulations apply to any teacher teaching for the first time in England who has already completed induction, probation or the equivalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, or a Service Children's Education (SCE) school in Germany or Cyprus.
You cannot complete induction if you can only obtain employment for a period of less than one term or as a short-term supply teacher or if you are employed in a pupil referral unit, a secure training centre, or a school in special measures, unless one of Her Majesty's Inspectors certifies in writing that the school is suitable.
What about everyone else?
ATL's advice is that if you are eligible and you wish to teach in a maintained school or a non-maintained special school at any time, you should seek to complete the induction period whenever and wherever this is available to you. This means that if you later wished to teach in a maintained school or in a non-maintained special school you could do so as an experienced teacher without the necessity of completing induction.
If you do not wish to, or are unable to, obtain employment on a permanent, uninterrupted basis and seek employment first as a supply teacher, you will not be eligible to begin induction. There is a limit of four terms, beginning from the date of your first employment, to your eligibility to teach as a supply teacher. Once this period has elapsed you cannot undertake supply work in a maintained or a non-maintained special school unless:
In Wales, new teachers must complete their induction period within five years. Therefore, they can teach short-term supply for any length within that, however, if they secure long-term supply which is a minimum of one term in one school, then providing that they register and are pro-active, that can also count towards their induction.
If you QTS has been deferred
A small minority of new teachers may have the award of QTS deferred because they have not yet successfully passed the required skills tests in one or more of literacy, numeracy or ICT. If this applies to you, you will not be able to formally begin induction until you have QTS.
Induction is not compulsory in independent schools, including independent nursery schools. However, they may offer induction if an agreement has been reached between the school and an LA or the Independent Schools Council Teacher Induction Panel (ISCTIP) to act as the ‘appropriate body’ before your induction starts. If this route is chosen, the school must offer the same provisions as for NQTs in maintained schools.
Sixth form colleges
The Induction Regulations do not apply to further education and are not compulsory in sixth form colleges (SFCs). If an SFC chooses to offer induction, it must arrange for an LA to act as the appropriate body, provide an induction tutor who is a senior member of staff and who holds QTS, offer a suitable timetable and at least the equivalent of 10 working days teaching pupils of compulsory school age in a suitable school.
If you start your career in an independent school or an SFC which is not operating induction under the Induction Regulations, you will have to complete induction in accordance with the Regulations if you later take up a post in a state maintained school or a non-maintained special school.
Is your post suitable for induction?
Government guidance says that you should normally serve the induction period in a post that:
It may not always be possible to avoid these problems. However, your school/induction tutor should be aware that your post may not be an ideal one for induction and should show how they intend to offer you additional support.
Nevertheless, if you feel that your post is unsuitable for induction and that there is no sign of this being recognised, you can seek advice from ATL.
Help and support
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For out of hours enquiries, call the out of office hours helpline on 020 7782 1612 (Monday-Friday, 5-8pm during term time). Don’t forget that ATL also offers a Crisis Line for members who have suffered assaults or trauma either at work or in their private lives (08705 234 838).
If you are not a member, join now.