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Dear James, Do I HAVE to be assessed if planning to leave?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by aspire_teach, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Hi

    I have been judged as unsatisfactory and "unlikely" to meet the Core Standards in my new school. I had an observation by the Head during the first 4 weeks of term and was noted as having serious problems e.g. behaviour management and my various teaching strategies. Since then I have been observed each week by a member of the SMT, (each one unsatisfactory) and being made to jump through a number of hoops, far more than in my PGCE it seems.

    The LEA was called into school after the Head notified them of my lack of progress and a rep has been in twice to observe me. Both she and the Head have warned that they cannot see me meeting the Standards. They gave me a veiled request to leave the school and I have to tell them of my decision by half term. If I resigned, I am happy to stick it out till Christmas. I like the children and the school, I know however it is not the right context for me, particularly since most staff now seem to be of the mindset I am a "failing" NQT. Today, I had a pretty bad half termly review to say the least.

    If I am an unsatisfactory teacher I do not, of course, want to hold the children I teach back in any way, nor do I want to stop them making the progress that the Head clearly feels they are not getting from me. I feel that, while disappointing, it may be the right decision for me and for them. My question is, how easy is it to begin my NQT year again in another school, taking these lessons away from me .... or even to have a term as a TA, taking stock and gaining new lessons?

    I am not enjoying this state of affairs, I do not want to let the school or children down, I feel I cannot go on with this pressure on my shoulders. There are mornings I do not want to go in, I am barely sleeping each night and I am unable to keep most meals down as I am so anxious. I want to try and get as much out of my NQT year as I can and feel I did not make the right beginning.

    My union has been informed but I remain unclear about what happens if I were to transfer. Knowing that I want to leave at Christmas, and that I am unlikely to be meeting the Standards, can I refuse the first term's assessment in December? What would it mean if I were to take an "Unsatisfactory" from this school forward into another school context, would I still be able to start my NQT year again? Can you help me with any procedures?

    Many thanks.
  2. Sorry, I had this all typed out into neat little paragraphs and now it's all one big horrid chunk!
  3. Silent85

    Silent85 New commenter

    I cannot assist you in your legal side of think but I would say take the next half term to collect yourself and make your innerself better before stressing about anything else!

  4. We had an NQT at my last school who came to us having failed his first term elsewhere but left so it not carry through and restarted with us. However, he ended up failing with us anyway.
    I think there are 2 things here:
    1- if you were to restart elsewhere would you be able to meet the standards? I dont mean this in a cruel way,,,I wonder is it your environment that has been unsupportive and ineffective in helping you achieve or is it that this is not the right job for you at this moment in time? I would sit back and take stock of the situation and put feelings aside and see if this is for u at this time- if so go for it and if not take some time out- you have 5 years to complete induction if I remember rightly

    2- if the school have been unsupportive and ineffective you can def refuse their assessment and put in a complaint as well as restarting afresh elsewhere where you will be mre supported

    I hope it all works out for you whatever happens!
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    There is no 5 year limit for completing Induction.
    There used to be an expectation that NQTs would complete Induction within 5 years of starting it but that expectation was abolished on 1st Sept 2007. ke any ve You can now take as long as you like or as long as it takes.

    If you complete the term, you will have to be assessed and the paperwork will follow you to another school, if you manage to get another Induction post in these competetive times.
    I suspect that the school are angling for you to get a negotiated early release from your contract, which would mean leaving a.s.a.p without having to serve the usual notice period. Your Union would help to secure an early release. With an unfinished term, no paperwork will be filled in and you'd start term 1 of Induction whenever you got another post lasting for at least a term's length.
    It's possible that you'd be able to avoid mentioning your Induction troubles at interview, perhaps by simply stating that you'd done some teaching in the LA in the first part of the school year. You would not, of course, use your current school as a referee
  6. i was put in a similar situation last year. At the end of my second term i got told i wasn't going to meet the standards. I left that school and have started my 3rd term in a new school. I have failed one observation this half term due to having no confidence in my teaching ability. I had an observation, today, now that i am more settled and got a good.
    It could be that the school you are currently in, is just not right for you. X
  7. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I simply don't see how you can possibly be judged as 'unlikely to meet the core standards' after less than 8 weeks of teaching.
    If you wish to continue teaching as a career, you need to speak up and ensure that the schools does much more that 'ask' you to leave. They have made a commitment to supporting you and should be putting steps in place to help you meet the standards.
    Seek union advice ASAP.
  8. Hi
    I do hope that once problems were identified there was support, training and there were targets put in place, not simply more observation! You don't fatten a pig by weighing it all the time and you don't make a teacher better just by observing them all the time (in fact it can be quite the opposite as the stress levels rise!)
    There are a few things to sort out here about the process and what it means for you.
    1. You will neither pass nor fail your first term (indeed no NQT, no matter how good they are will pass the first term). A pass or fail only happens at the end of the induction process, not term by term.
    2. If you are registered as a NQT (which you are) and you complete the term (even if you resign by the 31 October) then you have one completed term of induction. The LA 'should' require the school to provide the necessary assessment paperwork for that term (the assessment is not summative, but formative and it is assessing your progress towards meeting the induction core standards).
    3. The only way to avoid the assessment would be to leave the school before the term ends and, therefore, have an incomplete term - only then would it not be 'counted' and would you be 'starting afresh' with your NQT induction year.
    I'm pleased that you have the union involved as they should be able to provide the necessary support for you to negotiate the right outcome from this situation.
    Do read the NQT guidelines again (especially pages 30 and 31). You (the school and the LA) must realise that if difficulties are experienced it is not just the responsibility of the NQT to sort it out, the school and the LA also have a role to help and support (not just monitor, observe and assess).
    The school (and LA) should by now have identified the specific induction standards that you are in danger of not meeting and produced a plan of action for support that is linked to targets and success criteria which allow you to work towards meeting the standard(s) in question and the success criteria are about you and the school/LA being able to recognise when you have met the standard.
    Remember also that not all schools suit all NQTs. A NQT who experiences problems in a school should not feel that it means that they are automatically a 'bad' teacher. In a different school/environment/ethos you may well be a good teacher.
    If you resign, stay until Christmas, then leave, the LA may have no option but to require the school to provide the assessment. You have an absolute right to comment on that assessment and, if you disagree with parts, say so or provide your own evidence that the assessment is wrong. You may also comment on the support, extra training (or lack of) you had during this period.
    There are many examples of NQTs who have had difficulf first terms, where progress was deemed 'unsatisfactory' but who, with the right help and support, turned things around and passed induction in term three.
    Do insist on clear expert advice from your union and do make sure that you read and understand the NQT guidelines (which can be found here: http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/_doc/12703/080623%20Induction%20Statutory%20Guidance.pdf )
    Good luck
  9. helenemdee

    helenemdee Occasional commenter

    You seem to be having some of the same problems as me: I too have been told I am on the way to failing my NQT year due to behaviour management problems and I too was given the option of leaving. I was very tempted because to be honest I don't feel like I want to be there at the moment. I've told them I'll stay, but I'm really thinking about leaving at Christmas (it's only a temp contract anyway which may end at Christmas!). Not sure whether to bite the bullet and hand in my notice or not, given the fact that I probably won't get another jobfor January and I don't fancy scraping by on my meagre wage from my 2nd job. The behaviour has improved a little this week but it's too early to say whether it'll be a big turnaround or not, I've basically taken the wrong approach on day one I think, andthe kids do not respect me enough. Now I'm trying to toughen up they're responding sometimes, but completely ignoring me at other times. There's a lot of helpful advice here; you could also look at my post above entitled "Failing NQT", I got some good advice there. Don't worry about the LEA visit, someone from mine is coming to see me and I think it's just to talk about things. Take half term to just relax a little and feel like yourself again - I intend to plan hard but also enjoy it as much as possible - although I know the week is just going to fly!! I really feel for you and I hope it all works out.
    Helen x
  10. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    What on eart do these schools think they are doing? Giving NQTs less than a term to perfect behaviour management and their teaching skills before telling them they are going to fail and booting them out of the door?

    This sort of treat of NQTs really winds me up.
    So the kids ARE responding then? They will continue to respond more and more so long as you are firm, fair and consistent. If they see you are backed up by a) the behaviour policy of the school, b) the head of department and ultimately c) the senior management, they will begin to understand that you are to be respected.
    In my NQT year, in the first term, I had kids throwing smarties and midget gems around the classroom for a full hour with me basically powerless to stop it I did, however, totally follow it up and gave detentions to the main ringleaders, boll-cked the rest and had the HOD take a couple of hard-core behaviour issues out of the lesson to give me chance to get the rest onside. I had lessons in my NQT year where it took 40 minutes before the kids would settle down in their seats and be ready to work. I remember once trying to get a group of kids to do an assessment, and they all decided, en masse lead by a few, to refuse point blank and played up for an hour.





    Please do no give up just because your school is completely inept at supporting NQTs. Seek union advice immediately and request the support you are entitled to.
  11. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    It's a buyers market, with so many of us unemployed NQT they can afford to burn a few and still find a ready and willing supply of us, shopping for the best of the best.
  12. Surely interviews are the 'shopping' and 'buying' stage. Heads can't keep buying, leaving to rot and then throwing out?!

  13. Hi, OP here :)

    Things are better; I decided to hand my notice in at half term and have now finished at that school. I have stepped back from the NQT position, (managing to escape my dreaded first termly assessment!) and getting "back on my feet" by having an opportunity to shadow teachers at another school and do some one on one tuition in the afternoons which I feel MUCH happier about after having a severe confidence knock! I'm planning to restart my NQT year again next September. Happy ending! Thanks so much for all the support and advice on here. I did feel extremely upset and angry at the school's treatment, but have decided to move onwards and upwards!
  14. Does seems unbelievable that a person who has completed a PCGE should be effectively kicked out after a single term; especially given that the final qualification is made on the last term only and the general intent of the training.
    Now that you are de-stressed and given that you still consider the treatment to be unfair, might I suggest the following:-
    Make a Freedom of Information request to your local LA. Ask how many NQTs have failed to complete the NQT training over the last few years, also ask how many NQTs there has been over that period. Also ask if the data can be split down by schools.
    Armed with your own experiences and perhaps the above stats, make a complaint to the TDA/Ofsead or if you want to be less formal write a letter to your MP - note btw your experience indicates a considerable wastage of public funds.

    None of this will do you any good, however if your experiences are accurately described then such action would benefit your profession.

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