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Dear James - NQT time

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by JellyEff, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Hi James,
    I know that you must get asked this question repeatedly. I just wanted to ask it from my specific angle.
    At interview I asked about induction and was told that NQT time was incredibly flexible, could be stored up and used for courses etc that I wanted to go on, if I wanted to use it that way.
    However, I arrived at school... brought up the subject of NQT time and am being given the distinct impression that it is not acceptable. Phrases such as 'if you feel that you really need professional development in a certain area then we can arrange for you to have some time, but you might find you only need an hour here or there' are the standard.
    I have spoken to other staff who have been at the school since their induction year, who were never given the statutory amount of NQT time. (Perhaps 5 hours in the whole year).
    I originally asked my head of KS about NQT time and it has been escalated to the deputy and subsequently to the head who have both been quick to reiterate that this time is only to be used for professional development, which in their opinion does not include planning, preparation or marking. (This is not all I want to spend my time doing, but it would be good to have the option).
    I have also been told that I am to seek professional development within school before looking at any courses, which I see the benefit of. Naturally, these meetings are going to occur outside of my (and other teachers') contact time and eat into my personal time.
    The feeling I get is that if I try to push for the time that I am owed that I am going to get pushed out and at the very least develop a reputation for being hard work, which in an increasingly tight job market is not ideal.
    It seems as though so many people face these difficulties but because it is an employers market, we're just too scared to stand up for ourselves.
    I am extremely upset and disappointed as this is not what I bought into.
    What can I do?
    Thank you.
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Are you at an LA school?
    In-house training does not come out of your personal time. It will be part of your Directed Hours.
    Going on courses is not a given for NQTs. I completed Induction in 2003 and never went on a single course. I didn't have any mentor meetings until my final Induction term at a different school.
    Some schools allocate weekly NQT time slots and others allocate it fortnightly. Some occasionally book an NQT on an external course, which may be a full day one, and the NQT has to trade two weeks of NQT time for the course.
    External courses involve the school in employing another member of staff to take your classes so they are expensive in staff costs as well as the course cost.
    If you are not in an LA school, I suspect that the NQT time and even 1265 Directed Hours may not apply as a legal entitlement.

  3. Thanks Jubilee.
    I am in an LA school yes.
    The in-house training involves me speaking to other teachers after they have finished for the day, this is what has been suggested. Either this or watching their lessons (which is great and I will definitely do).
    I'm trying to work out what else counts as professional development as I can only take time out of my classroom if I have something specific that I want to do, planned in advance. I was told that 'a lot of NQTs can't find anything they want to look at by the last term'.
    I'm only ever going to get this opportunity once and I want to make sure that I do get the most out of it. I want to do something, I just don't know exactly what it should be.
    There's an HLTA in school who has timetable space for me to take the time, the Head just doesn't want me out of the classroom.
    I know that I should only be teaching for 81% of the time according to the teachers pay and conditions (taken block, weekly, fortnightly... however) - I just need some advice on how to make sure my school holds up their end of the bargain!
  4. You are entitled to 10% PPA & 10% NQT time. Do you belong to a union?
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I've re-read your first post and realise that you are telling use that you currently have no timetabled NQT time.
    That is not acceptable in an LA school.
    NQT time is not an optional service that you have to request by putting in a case for getting it.
    You need to know when you will have the time and you can use it to read up on an exam syllabus, support your planning, observe other teachers, keep up with assessments, talk to mentors etc and seek advice on how to approach certain parents over issues with their children. You might also want to discuss issues with other NQTs at your school who have the same NQT slot int he timetable.
    Your school seems to be trying to get out of providing the time nad , hence, saving money on a replacement teacher for the 2 hours or so per week, per NQT.
    Don't argue the toss with the Head and don't use the school's union rep; the latter will already know what is going on so will be useless in getting it put right if they haven't made any waves to date. Contact your Union's regional office and they or you should then contact the LA Induction advisor, who can make it known to the Head that proper procedures are not being followed.

    Schools used to get £1k per NQT, per term, to support Induction and fund the mentor time nad the 10% timetable reduction. That changed a few years ago and schools now get a set amount,based on the number of pupils, not on the number of NQTs taken on. The money is now part of the general budget.
    Some schools take on no NQTs ina specific year but still have the annual money added to their budget; some take on just one or 2 NQTs and end up with more money than they'd have had under the old system; others have to take on lots of NQTs and they have less money than previously.

  6. Thanks everyone.

    Jubilee: NQT time is not an optional service that you have to request by putting in a case for getting it.

    This seems right but is it definitely? I'm really nervous about going to the union, I don't want a black mark against my name.

    There is a timetabled slot for me to take the time, I'm just not allowed to use it! I can only assume that its there to look good for when ofsted come in. I've argued that I can have it this week but it would be great if I didn't have to battle on a weekly basis!

    I'm in 2 unions (free for nqt) I'm primary, any advice on which to use if I do summon the nerve - atl or nasuwt?

  7. I had to fight for my NQT time as I wasn't given it at first. I did feel as though I was rocking the boat;however, I think that the department respected me more in the long run for standing up for myself. I went down the route of saying it was a legal requirement and that I had checked with my previous school and on the Internet. I didn't want to approach my union straight away and luckily it was sorted fairly quickly without the need to involve any one else. What I am trying to say is be assertive or the school will more than likely take advantage of you in other ways. Hope you get sorted.
  8. Hi
    Let's clear a few things up.
    You have a LEGAL entitlement to 10% PPA time and 10% NQT time that means that adds up to a 19% reduction in your contact timetable. The NQT time does not, by law, have to be provided on a weekly basis and can be given as a block of time (e.g. a week or a few days) periodically to allow for you to attend to your professional development and this could be in-house or it could be through attending LA or other courses. You should not be made to justify NQT time in order to get it. The school should discuss your needs and arrange for professional development and there is finance in place for this to happen. That development could be observing others teach or talking to other staff. In most schools NQT time is provided as weekly timetabled non-contact time and this is often the easiest.
    I would suggest talking to your mentor and discussing how the NQT time is going to provided (weekly or in blocks) if it is inblocks then you could justify visits to other schools in the LA to observe staff, talk to others in your subject/age phase - or it could coincide with courses provided that you identify as gbeing in areas where you need to improve (e.g. in a secondary it could be about cousres aimed at marking coursework or running GCSE/A level requirements etc.
    The school does not have a choice about NQT time - you will be required by the LA to sign statements to say that you have had NQT time - if you have not, then effectively the school is asking you to lie and that is unprofessional!
    You can also contact the LA NQT adviser and ask for a meeting to discuss this - LAs must carry out quality assurance visits at ramdon on schools to check that they are meeting their legal obligations - you could ask the LA adviser to 'conveniently' carry out a NQT audit on your school.
    Again if the school lie or require you to lie - that's unprofessional.
    You can also contact your union for help and advice on this.
  9. Thanks very much James.

    It was my mentor who told me I had to request the nqt time in advance and that most people only want an hour or so to watch a lesson.

    They haven't specifically said I can't have the time, just that it has to be for professional development and I have to say what it is that I want to do in advance.

    Could the time reasonably be used for planning if I wanted to try to refresh the plans based on learning from my itt, or to research and implement (in planning) additional strategies for inclusion and differentiation?

    I will try the mentor again and if I have no joy will get in touch with the NQT advisor as you have suggested.

  10. nebveb

    nebveb New commenter

    As a suggestion make sure you are keeping a diary/notes of teaching or something that shows that you did not get this time. Make your requests by email so that they are traceable then if there are any problems later on you have evidence that you were not given this time even though it looks like you did on the timetable.

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