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Dear James (et al) - Please help!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by hisir, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. hisir

    hisir New commenter

    Hi James (and everyone else who might be able to help).

    I've just started a job as an NQT. Near the end of my final PGCE placement, the Head offered me a job teaching part-time to cover a teacher who had requested to reduce their hours to part-time, and therefore giving me the rest of their timetable. The school also uses a lot of supply cover, so having registered with an agency, I'll be getting a lot of work at the school (they've already told me I'm their number one choice for supply cover).

    The issue I have is that as an NQT, on the days that I'm contracted for, I'm teaching a 90% timetable, not an 80% one which, as NQTs, is the maximum we're supposed to teach. I was spoken to about this, and was asked whether or not it would be okay. I said yes, as the school had promised that I wouldn't have to worry about a form class or anything else like that.

    I'm now at the school, and the teacher whose job I'm sharing is off sick, and it's likely that they might be off for a while. I've been asked to teach the rest of their timetable, but again, that represents a total of 90% teaching (45 out of 50 lessons). I was given their timetable, and this also includes a form class, which I had originally been told I wouldn't have as part of my contract, but now that I'm covering the rest of the timetable via supply, do I have a leg to stand on?

    I'm a little bit worried, as I don't want to be taking on too much, but at the same time, I don't want to annoy the school by looking like I'm moaning about the work they're giving me. I'm on good terms with the DHT, and he's going to try and sort something out regarding the form class, but he's asked me to continue with the timetable I have for the next few weeks.

    Can anyone recommend anything? I don't want to flounder before I've had a chance to find my feet properly, but at the same time, it's full-time teaching, which is what I need to be doing for my induction.

  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Are the school putting you through induction? If so, you are entitled to a reduced timetable that is 90% of that of other teachers. So you should be having NQT time as well as PPA time. I suggest you contact your union for advice and, if necessary, support.
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Lets be clear if the school are not providing a reduced timetable and support from a mentor they are not developing you as a teacher. The induction requirement for reduced timetable is a statutory requirement. You need to discuss this initially with the induction coordinator usually a Deputy or Assistant Head- you can also contact the appropriate body which is usually the LA to confirm that you are being officially registered for induction with them and to discuss the arrangements.
  4. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I am not as knowledgeable as Welshwizard, he may well be able to clarify this but:

    1) Are you 100% sure that this school are putting you through your induction anyway? Did they commit to it? I am not sure of the regulations, whether they have a obligation to? especially if an academy? Maybe someone can clarify this?

    2) If they are then they DO have a requirement to follow statutory guidance. It is the awarding body that call the shots on this one.

    3) If they are offering you induction this seems a little messy. Are they counting your supply work as well as your part time contract or what? You need to clarify this.

    Also is your position permanent or temporary? By the way, you can complete your induction part time. It takes longer obviously, but it can be done. In fairness to the school, in the short term it may be difficult to change timetables in light of you taking this supply position.
  5. hisir

    hisir New commenter

    Hi everyone. Thanks for replying.

    I'll try and cover what everyone's said.

    I am doing induction through the school. There is another NQT who has just started at the same time as me. He's full-time, but is on an 80% timetable, so he's getting all the PPA and NQT time he should be getting. It's occurred to me that, even though my contract with the LA is part-time and only two days per week, we're both on the same salary point, which means essentially that I'm getting the same salary as him (even though mine is only 0.4 of his) to teach more of a percentage of the timetable than him.

    I'm not going to labour the point too much though. When I was offered the job, I was basically told that the timetable had already been done, and that there wasn't really much chance of changing it.

    Now that I'm covering the other three days a week doing supply (being paid supply rate by the school, not through an agency) obviously things are hotting up. I did try to speak to someone about getting my form class taken off me (the school has a policy that NQTs don't take on form classes) but nothing has come of it - I still have them once a week, as they are part of the timetable of the teacher who is off sick, and whose three day contract I'm teaching.

    All of the teaching that I'm doing at the moment is contributing towards my induction, which is great as I'm banking a lot more sessions that I might otherwise have done. The irony is that if I'm teaching a 90% timetable for the foreseeable future, it doesn't contribute anything more to my induction than an 80% timetable, so I do feel a bit short-changed.

    I haven't yet met with my external NQT mentor, so I'm hoping that he/she might be able to support me a bit with any conversations I need to have with the school.

    We'll see I guess. I don't want to rock the boat, as I know that I love the school and love teaching there, but I'm the kind of person who'll stick up for myself if I feel that I'm not being treated fairly.

    Thanks again everyone :)
  6. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Emmm.... You are right, that isn't fair. GLsGhost, a prolific poster on workplace dilemmas would probably suggest that this is discriminatory as you are being disadvantaged at least in part because of your part time status.

    That is rubbish as far as I can see. The school either lets you do the NQT year on the basic terms and conditions or it says they can't offer it because they can't honour a reduced timetable for me.

    Whether or not it is policy, in my opinion this is much of a muchness anyway. Don't let them fob you off with taking a form off you. UNless you are timetabled to teach PSHE say, one lesson a week on a rolling programme to this form, then the time you will get back from not having a form is not much use. it is too smaller interval of time. Really i don't think that this is a solution anyway. If you want to move on at the end of the year then experience of pastoral issues is a good thing to have.

    You probably wont meet them unless you are a cause for concern, or they have some reason to monitor the school. It is not like training. You have to take the initiative here and get in touch with them. It is probably at your Local Authority. Google it and email them.

    In the meantime I would speak to the deputy head or your HoD. In my school we had some serious absence problems at exam time. We ended up having to teach Ks4 and 5 sometimes in our PPA to cover. To compensate SLT agreed to 'take' some of our KS3 lessons. We planned it, textbook stuff really, and they sat with the class. In your timetable, could you pick two lessons of Y7 a week or something where you could say to SLT ' I will plan it, you sit with them, I can call this my NQT time' Not ideal, but workable for all parties for me.

    If no solution I would maybe get in touch with the union. It is not rocking the boat for me,
  7. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    To echo Dynamo's post It is not an induction unless you have the statutory release time. This is the only time in your career that you are going to benefit from a set release time for your personal development make sure it is available!

    If you are part time the NQT induction period should have also be arranged pro rata to provide a percentage release time. It appears what the school are doing are just contracting you for the teaching and not bothering with induction arrangements- very worrying.
  8. hisir

    hisir New commenter

    Thanks everyone.

    I'm going to be speaking to the school's union rep sometime this week, and I've got a contact number for the advice line for my union too.

    I've also got a meeting with the NQT mentor at my school. He's great, and I know that he's always looking out for us (he was my senior PGCE mentor at the school too), so I have quite a good working relationship with him. Fingers crossed!

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