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Dear Sage - NQT observations

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by moomin4, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. moomin4

    moomin4 New commenter


    Just wanted to check something as I seem to read and heat different things....

    In observations, should I be graded using the new Ofsted criteria that all teachers are measured against? Or is there a slight difference for NQTs.

  2. This is always a tricky one.Yes you can be observed against the new OFSTED standards, BUT, the idea of induction is that you meet the core standards for teachers which are not the same as OFSTED grading. I feel that too many schools set unrealistic expectations for NQTs by implying that they should be at the 'good' or 'outstanding' grade in order to pass induction (some heads seem to insist that only outstanding is good enough). Liken it to requiring someone who has newly passed their driving test being required always to meet the standards of a police trained advanced skills pursuit driver and nothing less will do.
    The best approach in my personal view is to assess NQTs against the standards using a wide range of evidence, not just the observations. If OFSTED gradings are used these should be for information and not judgement so that the NQT can see where they fit on the grading scale and to provide helpful information about what they need to do in order to improve.
    The Sage
  3. I am an NQT and all my observations have been made according to the new OFSTED criteria, unfortunately my lesson observations have not been too great and although I hit all/most of the satisfactory criteria, in some lessons I also hit one of the criteria in the 'unsatisfactory' box and so have been graded as unsatisfactory. On this basis the school told me at chrsitmas I am not meeting the standards so has put me down as failing.
    They are only using my lesson observations to assess me and I am definitely being judged on the grading I have received according to the OFSTED criteria. I have had a mixture of grade 3 and grade 4 but have been told that unless I get grade 3's in future then I will fail. Is this correct?
    I feel like it's quite unfair to be honest. During my PGCE before each observation I was told what Q standards they would be looking for during that lesson. I thought it would be the same during my NQT year but that has not been the case and I am not given specific areas that they will be looking at, rather they will be looking at the lesson as a whole and grading it accordingly.
  4. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I think this is quite appalling. I am the nqt coordinator for my school and as far as I am aware the prime focus for any observations of nqts should be both supportive and developmental. When I observe, I make notes of which C standards are being evidenced, and do a www / ebi for future development. I do not go near Ofsted criteria.
    Don't forget your school is legally bound to have given you the name of a third party whom you can contact if you feel the process is not being correctly handled at your school. Who is your school's "appropriate body"? This is often the LEA. Contact the person responsible for nqts in HR at your LEA and see if you can investigate further.
  5. This is not good practice at all. The udgement on NQTs should be holistic - that is based on a range of evidence and NOT just observations. There is more to meeting the strandards than just the actual teaching. In many LAs they require a portfolio (the best wayb to do a holistic grading) but some do not require this - even so I would advise all NQTs to gather a portfolio as this can be used to refute judgements that are unfair and only based on one sort of evidence.
    Put it another way, if you were normally a poor teacher, but each time you knew you were to be observed you always got satisfactory or better - would the Head ignore all reports where you were not meeting the standards and simply pass you? If the answer is no then clearly observation is NOT enough to make a formal judgement. I would aseek help from your NQT adviser at the LA and seek help from your union on this matter.
    The Sage

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