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Discussion in 'New teachers' started by anon2047, Mar 6, 2011.
Is it true that if you fail your NQT year that's it...you can't do it again?
At it's most basic, yes it is correct, but to get to that point a whole lot of help and support must have been in place and only after that would a fail happen if the NQT still did not meet the standards. Even then there is the right to an appeal and the LA can give an extension of up to three full terms for that person to try and meet the standards and pass induction. If after extension there is still a fail then the person retains QTS but is prevented from teaching in the state maintained sector. They could teach in the independent or private sector. James
In my humble experience, it's pretty hard to fail though.
I agree, the statistics back this up over 99% pass with no issues. That said some do have diffciulties and it is often a combination of issues ranging from schools not understanding their obligations to NQTs taking jobs in the wrong sorts of school for their teaching style/ethos.
I would like to see the statistics for those who are driven out before they allow a “fail” to be recorded i.e. how many NQTs start but do not finish their induction year. I suspect the 99% pass rate is masked by NQTs resigning before a school can fail them.
The problem with the induction process is that it assumes that mentors, SMT and teachers in schools are all supportive and welcoming of NQTs. They are not. A small but significant minority will bully exploit and undermine an NQT simply because they can. If things go wrong it is easy to make it look as if a support package has been put in place. Sadly the reality is that unions and the local authority do not and cannot always ride to the rescue.
NQTs need to know that although it is rare things can and do go badly wrong. The draconian pass or “fail for life” NQT induction process currently in operation in England is well overdue for reform.
I agree with you entirely, rabbit6. I don't think it's nearly as hard to fail as people think.
My boyfriend, for example. He was taken on by a school in special measures because it was the only school hiring at the time he passed his course. He was then given a full timetable, the school's most difficult classes, and was barred from NQT behaviour management sessions because he had a duty at the time and they refused to move the duty or the session. He has considered many times quitting before they can fail him. I suspect many are in the same boat.
I'm at a supposedly great school and was given a glowing report in the first term by a mentor who never even looked at me twice - he just made it all up. I then switched mentors, who again didn't look at me until Feb half term, and now I am up the creek with demands made on me that I'm going to struggle to fulfil in the five weeks I've been given - when I should've been given these demands in September/October!
It's not as hard to have something go wrong as you are suggesting. It's just that it's hidden. Honestly, if I knew for sure that I was going to fail (I fully intend to pass, though) I would quit first so that I didn't have the fail on my record. So that I'd still have a chance, some time.
A school that is in special measures should not take on a NQT unbless they have permissio0n from OFSTED to do so and the LA must monitor induction to ensure that the NQT is not disadvantaged by being in a school on SM. The school has a legal duty to provide the NQT reducation in timetable as well as PPA time. So if this is not happening then they are breaking the law and risking being kept in SM for failing in their managment of the school.
It is true that the low fail rate does mask those that leave, but it is not as bad as you may think. The figures for the years between 2005-6 and 2008-9 are as follows:
(W/D = withdraw)
Pass 26,568 (95%) Defer 113 (0.41%) W/D1,121 (4.03%) Fail 22 (0.08%) Total 27,825
W/D + Fail 1,143 (4.11%)
Pass 25,517 (97%) Defer 72 (0.27%) W/D 800 (3.03%) Fail 26 (0.10%) Total 26,416
W/D + Fail 826 (3.13%)
Pass 26,957 (96%) Defer 82 (0.29%) W/D 937 (3.34%) Fail 38 (0.14%) Total 28,015
W/D + Fail 975 (3.48%)
Pass 25,858 (95%) Defer 109 (0.40%) W/D 1,090 (4.03%) Fail 22 (0.08%) Total 27,080
W/D + Fail 1,112 (4.11%)
Four Year Averages:
Pass: 96% Defer: 0.34% W/D 3.61% Fail 0.10% W/D + Fail 3.71%
It is when you take out the withdrawn and people who defer that the 'official' 99% pass comes into play. But now you have the full stats and can see the full picture - so at worst 96% of all who start will pass each year. The defer may happen for example with people who have extensions or who may need to extend due to illness.
Regarding my boyfriend's situation (sorry!). If they try to fail him based on behaviour management, taking into account that it was in special measures because of behaviour and that he didn't get to go to the sessions, that he has the most difficult classes (statistically!) and hardly any frees, I assume he can appeal to the LA.
Are the LA able to recommend a pass based on all the other criteria that he's done well at? Or will he have to go through an extension term, if successful?
If he appealed on the basis that his Induction was not conducted properly (no 10% timetable reduction etc) and that hisInduction in a SM school wasn't approved, the likelihood would be, on winning an appeal, that the Fail is set aside and the entire Induction deemed null and void
He'd then be back at square one and would need a post at another school where he could start Induction all over again. he would still progress up the payscale in the next post as he'd have met the 26 week LA employmentqualifier in the previous school year.
I'm not sure if his year on an annulled Induction would then count as 12 of his 16 month allowance for teaching without Induction.
Wow. That is a messed up system indeed - I think most would rather fail than have to crucify themselves through another year of induction. If that's the case, he'd rather find a new career. Thanks for the advice, though.
Agreed the numbers of fails/ non completions do look small in statistical terms but those numbers represent an awful waste of public money and destroyed aspirations. It is true that the majority of NQTs do eventually struggle through their awful induction experiences and pass. But in order to do so too many have had to put up with what often amounts to bullying. Once the induction year is over how many remain teaching for more than a few years? In my opinion no single school should have the right to fail or push out an NQT who has passed their degree, their teacher training placements and skills tests etc.
A probation period is obviously reasonable and important but not one where the stakes are so high. If an NQT makes a poor choice of school, or doesn’t get on with the right people in that school, this can effectively wreck their ability to ever work in a state school again. An induction system similar to one of the Scottish routes whereby you clock up time and any school that you don’t “pass” with doesn’t count towards the induction period seems much fairer and less open to abuse to me.
It seems to me there are an awful lot of NQTs who are basically being exploited by the system. Senior management love them because they are cheap and are so terrified of failing that they will accept almost anything dished out to them. Other colleagues often dread their arrival knowing that their own understandable reluctance to work all hours without extra pay will stand in sharp contrast to the eager to please new brooms. These wrecked NQTs are often so burnt out after a few years that they end up leaving. Senior management don’t care because there are always plenty of new NQTs to replace them.
I am not saying all schools are ruthlessly exploiting all NQTs but a lot are, and they will continue to do so while they have the power to pass or fail an NQT. The NQT does not know if they will be one of that tiny statistical minority who will actually fail or not. That threat hangs over them for an entire year and that can make the induction year an extremely stressful and unpleasant time.
I agree with everything Rabbit says!
If you happen to be employed in a supportive school with a great mentor and where there is an understanding that the NQT year is, in effect, an extension of training, all is well.
If you take the first job that's offered to you, because it's so competitive out there, and find yourself in a school who don't really care whether or not you are an NQT and have no understanding of, or willingness to, offer any support programme or proper, effective mentoring by trained mentors, it's a different story altogether.