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Early Release?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by PenName, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Thanks James
    I would still like to hear from anyone who has been through this and find out how it all worked out for them?
  2. Yes I was in the same position as you this time last year. I totally sympathise and relate to your situation. It was the worst time of my life, I was working myself too hard, I was depressed and I appreciate it's hard to see that you can go on and have a good career after all of this. But good news... you can! In my situation it was basically that my face didn't fit and they wanted me out. The union got involved and worked out an exit strategy for me. They worked wonders and got me a positive reference and pay over the summer holidays which was excellent (but rare, just to warn you), and I left the school a few weeks before the end of the summer term.
    My confidence was severely bashed and I didn't believe in myself any more. I decided to take this year to do supply teaching, get my confidence back and get to know schools in the area. Best decision I ever made! All the schools I go to on supply ask for me back and think I am a great teacher. Such nice comments and an appreciation for what you do really brings your confidence back.
    After a wonderful year I decided it was time to try and find a nice school to work for again full time and finish my NQT year. Which now, luckily I have done! My new school that I am due to start in September is lovely and appreciates fully what I have been through. I was honest with the head and explained the whole situation and they appreciated my honesty. I also got lots of positive references from the schools I have worked for on supply, so references weren't a problem.
    There can be a positive end to all of this horrible situation. I wish you lots of luck. [​IMG]
  3. purple sparkle

    purple sparkle New commenter

    I have been going through the same situation as you and understand exactly how you feel.
    I have just resigned before half term from my school as I was more or less destined to fail if I stayed there. I failed my 1st and 2nd term. Everything seemed to be running smoothly until just before chirstmas. They only have me a days notice for telling that I had failed my first term and only told me on the day of my assessment that I had falled my second. I feel that they had decided they did not like me and my face did not fit. Also the school has serious behavioural issues and is very challenging. As a result the school is going into special measures. My HoD told me that there was only about a 10%-20% chance that I would pass so I decided that it was not worth risking ruining the career I had worked so hard for. 2 NQTs had failed in the department in the school over the last 2 years and another 1 resigned last year at may half term to prevent it happening to him. So if I and that other NQT had stayed 4 NQTs would have failed within 3 years in one department alone! My mentor was not very supportive and just pulled me down rather than tell me what I needed to do in her eyes and how to actually go about doing it. My union rep was really supportive and ensured that I was able to resign and get a early release.
    I did contact the LA but they said there was nothing they could do because on paper everything seemed to be place and I was getting enough support. Therefore, I had no choice but to resign if I wanted to save my career.
    As part of my 'support' they did however let me go and teach in another school for a day. This was a real confidence booster and I realised that a lot of the problems were not down to me but the school I was working in. The staff who observed me said I was a good teacher who had been battered by my situation. Everything was in place but they felt my classroom management had been hampered because I had been in a school where you was not backed up for behaviour and the kids were bad. They told me I just need to sort that out now and I will succeed in the right school. They told me supply would help me do that.
    I have now signed up to 4 supply agencies and intend to do supply work for a bit until I gain in confidence again. It would be useful as it would help me get some idea what schools are like before accepting/applying for jobs. Regular work seems very likely from 2 of the agencies for the rest of half term and one has even said they will try and get me into a good school for a term if possible to complete induction in September! In my opinion, completing induction on supply then finding a permenant job seems the best option for people in our situation.
    If you do decide you want to resign it is not too late. All you would have to do is not go into work on Monday and contact your union rep via phone. Tell them you wish to resign and write the letter and send it through the post. Do not walk into school again unless it is to return equipment after resigning. The reason I am saying this that if you go back into school on Monday, in their eyes you are commiting yourself to trying to pass induction at the school and they can make a decision about you and recommend a fail if you do stay. The best option in my opinion is leave and don't let them ruin your career if you are more than likely to fail. Good luck and I hope things work out for you whatever you decide to do.
  4. I also resigned in February for similar reasons. I was getting observed weekly, and every single week it was coming back as unsatisfactory. Even when I felt the lesson had gone well I was slated for it. I was given a list of 'targets' each week, but then never really felt like it something tangible to work towards. Several times I emailed the HoD asking for advice for something, something they were saying I needed to work on, but didn't get a reply. I did have two observations from the LEA which also didn't go too well - the first time the class they chose I didn't stand a chance with, and the second I'd got to the point where I'd given up even trying. I'd try to put in place feedback I was given, then told that I was not doing it properly. I was told I wasn't thinking about the learning process, but whenever I asked about this I was given an 'answer' without it really being answered.

    I have NOTHING in my file, none of the standards filled in, and even the assessment thingy that should have been filled in with the induction tutor was never done. I had a meeting with the NQT adviser for the LEA, and she asked about whether certain things had been done - some I'd not even heard of

    I had quite a few challenging classes, and the HoD admitted at the beginning of the year that I'd pulled the short straw with the class distribution

    I knew at the end of my PGCEyear I wasn't going to be an outstanding teacher, but there was nothing brought up at all on either placement or by the uni that suggested there was a problem with my teaching - I know there is a big gap between PGCE and NQT year, but surely had there been that much of a problem it'd have been spotted earlier??

    When I resigned, I was paid until the end of the term, but then it took a while to get supply sorted (gave up chasing up one agency, then had to wait ages for a reference for another), and supply work is slow at the moment. So the money issue is a consideration as well. But then you need to weight up if you'd rather be short on money for a bit with the possibility of going back into teaching, or never being able to teach again...

    It is a horrible situation, but it's nice to know at least that I'm not alone. Whenever I read things on here about people failing, it never seemed to be quite as bad
  5. I'm really grateful to those of you who have replied even just knowing I'm not alone is a big help.
    <address>The LA are meant to be coming in soon (the first week back I'm hoping) and I think they will help me make my decision. I've been very tempted to just call and not return on Monday (and it would have saved me at least 3 days of my half term) but (maybe stupidly) I feel I owe it to the kids to at least tie things off properly and I think I'm still hoping for the glimmer of hope that I'll pass. Either way I think just knowing one way or another will be a big relief and obviously I will let you know what happens.</address><address></address><address>Wishing all the best to those of you who have been in a similar position.</address>
  6. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    Things are very up in the air for me too. Slightly different situation but just want to leave this awful school and go somewhere normal. xx
  7. Can I just repeat that there is no PASS or FAIL term by term, the assessments done are about progress towards meeting the induction standards. The pass or fail only happens at the end of the process and is decided by the LA not the headteacher - they just recommend a pass or fail.
    In schools, the statutory guidance also states that you (NQTs) should not be given known challenging classes.
    When targets are met there should also be success criteria so that you know when you meet the target.
    Advice should be given, support should be real and not just more of the same (observation). Given that your induction tutors are teachers they should know all this - after all, what would they say to you if you just criticised children, set targets that they didn't understand and not help them to know when they have achieved success - they would rightly fail you.
    I am astonished that such things are happening.
    Please do involve your union in such matters they are there to help and protect you.
  8. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    I started my post in September.
    How was your summer pay negotiated? I am thinking of asking to leave in the next week. Although I passed my second term just before half term (meaning my third term starts tomorrow) I have been having an awful time. I have come to a point where I have had enough of the bullying and uncertainty in my school. I am worried about money over the summer however.
  9. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    If you started in September surely your final term started at Easter?
    How come you're making that decision Skellig? If I knew I'd pass I'd stay until I had something else lined up personally... but I may not have that choice.
    My union told me that there is more chance to get summer pay if you are on permenant contract although I think its something they need to negotiate for you.
    Hope it works out for you whatever you decide x
  10. So how do you know how you are doing each term? I have had nothing from the school i am an nqt at. Should they have done some kind of report?
    I was also told that if i left early my mentor would give me a bad report?
  11. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

  12. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    I had 6 weeks off at the start of the spring term - HT's idea as had a major family crisis (over xmas) in which i asked for an early release - but school persuaded to stay) My school also wanted to pass me at the normal time - JULY (possibly extend to oct half term).
    Many complications as this early pass isnt supposed to be possible. (Induction can be shortened by 29 days maximum) I have now found out that my contract wont be renewed next year so I wont be able to finish my induction at my school. (i'm sure they new this!) I'm hoping I can negotiate out so that they can have their 4 posts avaliable (seems what they want as they are advertising). I am left with 6 week time off on my reference (heavily persuaded to take the time by the way - would have been ok without it) and didnt even get to complete my NQT. I'd rather leave now and do some supply; hoping that I can get my face known and find a slightly longer temp post in sept. (I just very upset and annoyed and don't want to be there anymore - I don't trust them)
    I'm hoping that because they have messed up my induction year, they will be happy to negotiate with me. Otherwise i may have to speak to the union and see if i have grounds to stay in september which the school obviously don't want.
  13. Thats really strange. No one has ever given me anything to sign.
  14. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    I'd get on to it first thing tomorrow Chrissy. Try not to worry too much before you've spoken to someone x
  15. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Skellig - I don't think the union can force a stay, only an early release, either way I would speak to them (something which I put off for a long time and in hindsight maybe wouldn't have done). Best to know what you can do rather than get too depressed (I really should listen to my own advice at times!) Best of Luck. Let us know how you get on? x
  16. purple sparkle

    purple sparkle New commenter

    In my school I was given some very challenging classes who were unteachable. I did not have a success criteria. My mentor gave me targets but never told me if or to what extent they were met. She used to come up with new targets every week so it confused me and told me the other targets had not been met (only when I asked her) and did not say what I needed to do and how to go about meeting them. I asked her how she would have delt with a situation and she told me she didn't know so wasn't really useful. I had no action plan with clear ways explaining exactly how to reach the targets and how to actually demonstrate meeting them. Just new targets every week with no measure of the extent to which they were been met. In my eyes I was meeting the targets as I was doing everything which I felt possible to demonstrate them. Even when the targets were clearly met they told me that they hadn't been.
    After a while she stopped giving targets and it turned into criticism and pull down (a form of bullying). She even exagurated on these notes she wrote about discussions which made out I was worse than what I was. She also told me that maybe I am not cut out for teaching and that I should have a think about it! I was also told that I was beyond help and there was nothing else they could do!


  17. What you have wrote Skellig, I could have easily wrote that last year, I was exactly in the same position. The summer pay was negotiated on a pro rata basis I think, dependant on how many school weeks I had worked. Because I worked most of the year, I got most of the pay. This was negotiated between the union and the head, and then the head and the LEA. Although the head was happy to pay me over the summer, the LEA was not so helpful and was very reluctant. All got sorted in the end though luckily. My advice to you, if you haven't already, is get the union involved asap, they will really help you sort through the best course of action for you. I wish you all the best.
  18. Hi to all of you posters,
    Last year I was in the same position in a school with dreadful, not unacceptable, but dreadful behaviour and little back-up.
    No-one was checking what I was presenting to the children, my mentor meetings were 10 mins each twice a term. I asked local schools for help but none was forthcoming and teh school refused to back me up on that or to find an alternative. On top of all that I was the full extent of teh department and expected, as an NQT, to fulfull the role of HoD. I was missing the rather cursory NQT training as I had so many detentions. There were no SOW, lesson plans or resources so was going home and preparing 5 hours worth of classes each night as well as making resources. In addition I was over my teaching hours on timetable and having a couple of classes where I was expected to teach two different year groups at the same time. Crazy or what?
    I contacted the Union and the LA. I suspect the LA was more pro-active than it appeared. I wasn't the only NQT having difficulties and I gather OFSTED was later involved. Not sure of the ramifications of that.
    The outcome was I left the school feeling akin to the bottom of a parrot's cage and wondering whether teaching was my bag.
    Since then I have done supply. Signed on with everyone. Taught everything bar the sciences.
    Learned a lot about expectations of class behaviour. Found that, actually, I was getting a good reputation for behaviour in the classes and had a few long term placements where the generosity of the other teachers helped enormously and I learned hugely about how to approach my subject. I feel I have gained 2-3 years experience by doing 1 year's worth of supply.
    The end result is I am now going to complete my NQT at an outstanding school with a sound NQT training where I can develop into the teacher I want to become with a pro-active and supportive department.
    I wouldn't wish on anyone what I went through. But the last 9 months have had more positives than negatives and am pleased with the final outcome.
    Remember, schools are filled with people and personal chemistry can be very hit and miss.
    Best of Luck
  19. At the enbd of each term (or its pro rata equivalent if you are part time) there should be a set of forms completed for the LA which note your progress - these should be agreed and signed and lodged with the LA - please check that you have been registered for induction - if there are no signed forms the LA should have chased the school. If they have not it could be because you have not been registered - time on induction cannot be backdated.
  20. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    How did you get on Chrissy?
    I'm still waiting to find of how much chance there is of passing, never felt so miserable...

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