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Failed my NQT year, can I work in teaching at all?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by ward25, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. ward25

    ward25 New commenter

    I completed my PGCE and gained QTS in secondary music in 2014. Last year I started my first job and unfortunatley had a terrible experience where I felt both pressurised and unssaported which ultimatley led me to failing my NQT year. Whilst I enjoyed my placement schools on my PGCE, in my first job the school atmosphere was much more stressfull, I regularly had class sizes of 37 students without support or enough equipment (even enough chairs!!), and the only other music teacher who was also my mentor was regularly off sick for a number of reasons. Unfortunatley I only realised I was definitley going to fail when it was too late to resign before the end of term.

    My NQT assessor suggested that I look into other careers and that teaching is probably not for me, but I wanted to know can I technically work in any schools at all? Do you need QTS and to have passed your NQT year to work in private schools or 6th form colleges?

    I enjoy working with children and love teaching my subject and whilst I did experience difficulties with managing behaviour with some classes, I felt as though I gained little support with dealing with this in my previous school. I feel as though I would not encounter this in the FE or Private Sector.

    Currently I am doing a Masters in my subject to build and expand my subject knowledge and I am also tutoring A level Music privatley and teaching piano privately. Whilst I can earn an income from this I would prefer to the challenge of working in a school and may look at applying if eligible for positions starting in September.

    Any advice on where I can potentially apply or from anyone who has experienced a similar position would be helpful.

    I was also thinking of volunteering at my local 6th form college to gain experience and also hopefully a positive reference.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I believe you can do supply work but I'm not absolutely sure.

    Perhaps you should take your assessor's advice and look for other careers. Tutoring and doing music lessons sounds good to me. I'm a full time teacher but I also do some tutoring and it is very rewarding.

    I doubt you would get a job in a 6th form college, a private school is a slim possibility.

    Good luck whatever you choose to do.
  3. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    It sounds like the OP actually did fail Induction.

    If that's the case; the OP actually failed Induction then there's a big problem. People who fail Induction can't work in any state school (not even an Academy) as a Teacher (not even as an Unqualified Teacher). There is no* second chance. (Which is why almost everyone in that position "doesn't complete" instead - failure is irrecoverable.)

    But this doesn't apply to Independents or the FE sector. They're free to employ whoever they want.

    *I feel this is highly unjust, especially, as we know from these forums that bullying of staff is rife in schools. IME, this should be challenged in the courts but I suspect Unions are afraid of taking this sort of thing on as it looks like supporting "unfit teachers" where actually it's supporting victims.
  4. ward25

    ward25 New commenter

    Thank you for your replies, unfortunately I did fail my NQT year not just not complete it. I actually passed my first term and wasn't advised at any point by anyone that I should resign, as although I definitely was struggling I felt as though I could pass. Unfortunately through no fault of her own my initial mentor was ill and off sick for much of the year, which meant I felt I wasn't getting the support needed. It also meant that I was often the only music teacher in my department, whilst I know this is often the case in Music I did find this difficult.

    When I was told I failed my NQT year I was offered the chance to appeal, but my NQT assessor advised against it in my case. I was also completely mentally drained and exhausted at this point that I did not think I should appeal either.

    Now 6th months down the line, whilst I had some horrible experiences in my NQT year I also had a few wonderful ones teaching. I am currently tutoring privately which gives me an income but I don't see it as a career. It doesn't give me the opportunity to teach a broader range of different musics or work towards performances and concerts that you do in school. I can never imagine myself working in business or a regular office job and I want to use my degree in my job. I have worked as a performer but job opportunities are difficult to get and the hours are unsociable, so teaching still attracts me

    Unfortunately having failed my NQT year feel as though my chance of securing a position even in Independent School may be slim, but if I can still apply I may do so. I did receive outstanding lesson observations in both my PGCE year and NQT, I feel as though in a different school in a different enviroment I could be a good teacher.

    Thanks for the posts, i may look at positions that come up and apply and see what happens, hopefully my masters and a bit of voluntary experience in these sectors may help.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Sorry, I didn't know that failing your NQT year had such dire consequences.

    Having given this a bit of a ponder I think your best options would be to look at the tutoring/performing areas and although you say you enjoy it to give teaching the boot. Your chances of securing a position in a school are (as you say) slim now and you should look at other areas to make a living. have you considered getting temporary work as a TA or something like that ?.

    As an experienced teacher who has seen many fellow teachers come and go it's a tough job these days and many people do not consider it to be the good career that it once was. A friend of mine has recently suffered a severe breakdown due to teaching which has made me think about my position. I am at the other end of the spectrum to you and I don't have too many years to go, but do you really want to go through that ?.

    You perhaps should have got out earlier but that's not particularly helpful advice for me to give now.

    Best wishes !
  6. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Ridiculous, isn't it? Bullies' charter!

    Of course, it wasn't supposed to be that way. The Logic behind the lifetime ban for failing Induction was that someone who had a whole year (after training) to show they'd met the standards, someone who'd had the help and support of a mentor, someone who'd had the 10% timetable reduction but still failed despite all that essentially wasn't someone who should be allowed to teach.

    But sadly so many schools have adopted the "blame the teacher" approach and can and do use this 'lifetime ban' against the very people Induction is supposed to help!

    It needs to be challenged but, of course, no politician would ever support a change in this as it would be seen in the press as being about 'lowering standards'. The press are upset that there's not enough of us struck off as it is!
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Makes you wonder how many potentially good teachers are lost like this.

    My first two years of teaching were in very tough schools (particularly the second one) and I wonder had the induction year been in place then would I still be a teacher.

    I did learn a lot from those years though and when I landed in a school where the chairs didn't fly around so much I settled into it.
  8. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Roughly 1 in 4, isn't it?

    IIRC, about 1 in 5 drop out of training and about the same again (roughly 1 of the remaining 4...) drop out in Induction.

    Induction was introduced to be a supported, easier start post qualification. It was about retention and about doing something about the high drop out rate.

    10% timetable reduction, the support of a mentor..

    And, to make sure the scheme wasn't abused, the formal reporting process of "meeting standards".

    No doubt the architects of the scheme had no idea just how poor some school's managers are and just how such a scheme could be abused.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    No doubt the architects of the scheme had no idea just how poor some school's managers are and just how such a scheme could be abused.[/QUOTE]

    How very true.
  10. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Dear God! If what you say is accurate, or even mostly accurate (sorry for the caveat, but we do only have your version of events) then you had a cast iron case to appeal, and would almost certainly have won an extension to your NQT year on appeal.

    Whose side was your 'NQT assessor' on? Who was this person - school based, or from the Appropriate Body (usually a Local Authority, could also be a Teaching School)? Did you talk to your union? And were you not advised that you were not on track to pass, before it came to the final report and the 'fail' judgement?

    It's probably too late to do anything about it, but it would appear that you were not given any competent professional advice. For others who might be in the same situation in future, the moral of the story here is that you should always talk to the Appropriate Body as soon as a concern is flagged, and if things do not improve you should also make your union aware.
  11. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Hopefully this won't happen to me, but it is a looming possibility because of a very disrupted NQT year.

    I completed my PGCE in July 2013, but failed to secure a job so went on supply for a term. I secured a term-long post, starting in January 2014, which was extended to two terms, at the end of which I was making good progress. The contract was not extended past my second term. My mentor also went on long term sickness half way through, meaning I had two mentors.

    Back on supply for half a term, before I gained a post which should have seen me through. Unfortunately after half a term I was informed that the school wanted to take me down the capability route and I was advised to resign by the NQT mentor to keep things in my control (as it was only half a term it didn't count towards the NQT year). I had also been given two mentors - one general and one subject specific.

    I was on supply for two more terms, which undoubtedly affected my performance when I got another post in September. Because of the disrupted nature of my NQT year I was given an extension until Easter. A couple of weeks ago a new Head informed me that he felt he wouldn't be able to sign me off, so (again) advised me to resign to keep some control over things. Whilst I know I had more work to do, this was a shock as I was (again) making progres.

    I now face having to make up any areas that still need work in a new school in one term, which will make it four schools and six mentors over three years. A difficult prospect for anybody, and if I don't manage it my teaching career is over. A prime exampe, in my opinion, that there is something wrong with the induction period as it stands.
    nic_walshuk likes this.
  12. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    You don't necessarily have to complete in one term, you could be given another extension. Not ideal, but would give you the time to adjust to a new setting.
    I wouldn't rush into another contract yet, though. Build your confidence back up a bit through supply first.
  13. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    You need to also choose your schools carefully and ensure from the start that you are going to get the induction support you need. Anyone who is looking carefully at recruitment would have concerns about taking you on without the necessary support being in place.
    As John suggested get some daily supply work initially before committing to anything more long term.
    If you do not feel you are getting the right support then you should always raise this both with the school and the appropriate body concerned
    I don't agree with your comments:-
    "don't manage it my teaching career is over. A prime example, in my opinion, that there is something wrong with the induction period as it stands. "
    Your teaching career is not over until the induction period has been failed- as long as you have a final period left to complete then the induction is still alive.
    One view would be that the induction process is robust if it has identified weaknesses and prevented a blind eye being turned to problems!
  14. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Interesting. When someone came around from the LEA he said that it could only be extended once. Most posts that are advertised at the moment are to start in September anyway, so I'll probably be on supply until then.
  15. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    If they check with the NCTL, they will be told that it is now possible to grant more than one extension. There is a precedent that I am aware of in the Eastern region.
  16. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Beware dangerous precedents -generally most LAs stick to one extension as the key phrase in the guidance is "where this can be justified" All extension cases are individual but the key factors are personal crises, illness, disability, issues around induction support, insufficient evidence to judge. (- poor performance is not a criteria)
    I would love to make all induction at least 4 terms which would solve a number of issues but the options for extending are restricted as fundamentally it is about teacher competence.
  17. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    The NCTL stance on extensions has shifted over the course of the last few years - perish the thought that there might have been political interference. I agree that hitherto the rule was deemed to be one extension and that's it, all I'm noting is that the goalposts have moved.

    To be discussed over a beer next time I see you, WW!
  18. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Well obviously I hope that I can get it completed in one term, but it's useful to know that another extension might be possible.

    I do think the pass/fail ption at the end of the year is a bit too harsh. In most cases it is right, but there are a few cases where there should be a bit of flexibility.

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