Passing the test
Worries about induction periods dominate the TES NQT forums all year round. Make sure you know what you're entitled to - and what you need to do - with this guide from the Teaching Development Agency for Schools
Congratulations! You've successfully gained QTS, now all you have to do is complete your induction period. Don't worry, it doesn't have to be as difficult as it sounds. All qualified teachers who are employed in a relevant school (including maintained schools, non-maintained special schools, some maintained nursery schools and PRUs) must by law have completed an induction period satisfactorily (subject to specified exceptions) to be able to teach in this sector, so you're not alone.
Your induction can take place in:
- relevant schools (see above);
- some independent schools (including academies and city technology colleges);
- some FE institutions (including sixth-form colleges); or
- induction may also be served in a school or an FE institution in Wales in which an induction period may be served under Welsh regulations.
Your induction period combines a personalised programme of development, support and professional dialogue, with monitoring, and an assessment of performance against the core standards (see www.tda.gov.uk/teachers/induction). The headteacher will then submit a recommendation to the appropriate body, which makes the final decision on whether you have met the standards.
Induction will usually last for the equivalent of three school terms (part-time staff will take proportionately longer) and you must successfully complete induction to continue teaching in a relevant school in England. These induction arrangements apply to anyone awarded QTS, by whatever route, from May 1999. Those awarded QTS before this date, along with some other categories of teachers, are exempt from the requirement to complete a period of induction.
Your induction programme will help you develop the knowledge and skills gained during initial teacher training, help you to meet the core standards and provide a foundation for your continuing professional development (CPD) towards becoming a more effective teacher. You should expect to play an active part in planning and reviewing your induction programme, which should also be tailored to your individual needs and circumstances.
Before your induction can start it is essential that:
- you have passed your skills tests; and
- you have been awarded QTS by the General Teaching Council for England.
- You are entitled, during your induction period, to a timetable of no more than 90 per cent of a timetable of other classroom teachers in your school (without responsibility points).
- Meet with your induction tutor to plan your induction programme and development objectives, and the support you will receive over the period. l Consider your development needs, identifying the priorities, and prepare an outline action plan for how you will meet those needs using your career entry and development profile (CEDP) or alternatives.
- Part-time teachers are entitled to the same level of support, including professional progress reviews and formal assessments but the time frames will be different to reflect the length of their induction periods.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How much non-contact time am I entitled to?
In maintained schools, The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document states that the head teacher/principal must ensure a reduced timetable for teachers taking part in induction. This means teaching for no more than 90 per cent of the time that other classroom teachers - who do not receive payments in respect of additional duties or responsibilities, such as a teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payment - would be expected to teach at the same school.
Newly qualified teachers in independent schools and further education colleges must also have a comparable reduced timetable.
This time is an entitlement to be used for planned developmental activities (which may be of a contact as well as a non-contact nature) and should be protected by the school/college. It should be allocated in meaningful blocks.
2. What should I do if I don't receive my entitlement? If you have have concerns about the content or administration of your induction programme, you should initially raise your concerns informally with your induction tutor; otherwise you may follow the school or college's formal procedures.
If your concerns go beyond the school, or are not addressed, you will also have a named contact to talk to outside your school or college.
This will normally be either someone within the local authority or the Independent Schools Council teacher induction panel (ISCtip).
You should be given contact details for this person at the beginning of induction. Do not put off raising any concerns; the earlier you do so, the earlier steps can be taken to improve the situation.
3. What should I expect of my induction tutor?
You should expect that they will have QTS and be appropriately experienced. They should be in regular contact with you and be aware of the induction requirements and have the time to carry out the role effectively.
As well as any tasks delegated by the headteacher/principal, responsibilities can also include a vast array of things:
- Ensuring you understand the roles of those involved in induction, including your entitlements and the responsibility to take an active role in your own development.
- Working with you to organise and implement a programme of monitoring, support and assessment (see guidance, paragraph 6.9) that takes forward the action plan identified at the start of induction (this should recognise the needs and strengths identified, the core standards and the specific context of the school).
- Co-ordinating or undertaking at least six observations of your teaching and organising follow-up discussions with you.
- Working with you to review professional progress against your objectives and the core standards.
- Ensuring you are fully informed about assessment in the induction period.
- Ensuring dated records of monitoring and support are kept, plus formative and summative assessment activities undertaken, and their outcomes.
- Taking prompt and appropriate action if you appear to be experiencing difficulties.
The induction tutor will provide formative assessment and often be involved in the formal, summative assessment at the end of induction. Support and assessment functions may be split between two or more teachers, depending on the structure of the school.
If a school chooses to take this approach, one person must have day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating the induction programme. It is important for responsibilities to be clearly specified at the outset.
4. What documentation do I need to keep in my induction year?
- Copies of all assessment forms and any review notes.
- A note of start and end dates of the induction period and any periods of absence. Also note any periods of induction completed in different schools/colleges and any breaks during the period.
- Action plans developed with the induction tutor.
- Your CEDP or alternative. The CEDP is primarily an online resource aimed at trainee and newly qualified teachers. It will encourage you to focus on achievements and goals early on, and discuss your professional development needs.
5. Can I do induction as a supply teacher?
It is possible to do induction while doing supply teaching, providing the school/college is suitable for induction, the placement is for a term or longer, the headteacher is in agreement, the post is suitable and the duties and entitlements are available on the same basis as any other inductee.
6. Can I do short short-term supply teaching during my induction period?
Yes - but short-term supply work, (less than a term) can only be done for a calendar period of 16 months. This period begins when an NQT takes up their first short short-term supply post and continues regardless of their employment thereafter.
7. How will induction differ in secondary and primary schools?
In a large school, such as a secondary school, a senior member of staff may oversee induction arrangements for all NQTs across the school. This role - sometimes referred to as induction co-ordinator - is in addition to the induction tutors with direct responsibility for individual NQTs.
8. Can I do induction in sixth-form and further education (FE) colleges?
Yes. FE institutions and sixth-form colleges who wish to offer an NQT a post in which to complete a statutory induction period must ensure that:
- you have qualified teacher status awarded by GTCE;
- the post is suitable for induction (see guidance);
- a local authority is prepared to act as the appropriate body;
- you have adequate opportunity to further develop your knowledge, understanding and experience of the day-to-day practices in a remodelled school;
- you have a reduced timetable on a comparable basis to NQTs working in relevant schools;
- normally no more than 10 per cent of your teaching in the FE institution is devoted to teaching classes predominantly consisting of pupils aged 19 and over;
- you must spend the equivalent of at least 10 days teaching children of compulsory school age in a school during your induction;
- every effort is made to provide you with 15 days' experience in a school setting in addition to the mandatory 10 days (as above);
- you are appointed an induction tutor who holds QTS.
9. How does induction differ across Britain?
Any period of induction of a term or more in Wales will count towards an induction period in England (and vice versa). See the following links for information on arrangements in:
- Wales (http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/?lang=en).
- Scotland (www.teachinginscotland.com/tis/CCC_FirstPage.jsp).
- Northern Ireland (www.deni.gov.uk).
The Teaching Development Agency for Schools (TDA) induction helpline is on 0300 065 6526, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, email your query to email@example.com
- The Department for Children, Schools and Families' statutory guidance is an essential document providing detailed guidance on the induction arrangements which you should read. It is available from the Teachernet website (www.teachernet.gov.uk).
- Also see the induction pages on the TDA website (www.tda.gov.uk/induction), especially the popular questions.
- To check records, you can contact the GTC at www.gtce.org.uk or write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to email@example.com for other induction enquiries.