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Failing NQT while off sick

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by cssmithy, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. cssmithy

    cssmithy New commenter

    I am an NQT in his third term of induction, teaching music, who started a new job in September having worked part time at a different school last year, where I completed two terms of induction. Whilst I did not pass the first two terms, the NQT manager noted that I had made significant progress and stated she only put me down as failing the second term to ensure that I got the support I needed at my new school.

    The short version of what happened next is that I entered my new school in September hoping for a fresh start but this has not happened. I have been on a support plan since October, and am a one person department with nowhere near enough space or equipment to be able to properly teach my subject. This in conjunction with a lack of support as well as having been treated poorly by the NQT manager as well as my own mentor culminated in an observation last week which did not go well, and afterwards said NQT manager spent half an hour tearing me apart. Following this, I went to my mentor and had a breakdown in which I cried, and since then have been struggling to sleep and been feeling sick before and during school. I was due to be observed again a few days ago but my NQT manager said to me that my mentor had told her I had said she had 'torn me apart' (which I felt that she had) and was now concerned that she would get a reputation for doing this to NQTs (despite the fact I've heard from a couple of sources that she already has a reputation for doing this). Several people pointed out that this could result in her being biased against me in future observations. I was also told that I would be observed next week by someone from the local authority with the principal, after which it would be decided whether I would pass, fail or get an extension.

    The fact is at this point I have no desire to remain in this school. I was already feeling pretty low about things before that observation but since then my mental health has been in the gutter. I have followed the advice of a number of colleagues and friends (including a GP) and decided to sign off sick with stress, having gone sick the day of the obs a few days ago. My intention at this stage is to request an early release from my contract so that I can leave at the end of this term and preserve my NQT year.

    My question revolves around the implications of signing off sick with this observation coming up next week, which will obviously not happen now. I am worried that with it being only three weeks away from the end of the term, the school/local authority could decide to fail me anyway. Would signing off sick at this point mean they would be unable to fail my NQT year, or could they go ahead and do it?
  2. Miss_Haversham

    Miss_Haversham New commenter

    I'm so sorry to hear of the position you're in. It sounds like a very difficult time.

    Have you consulted with your union rep yet? If not, I would suggest you speak to them as a matter of urgency for support and advice.

    If you fail your NQT year, the consequences are serious. Some people leave ahead of this to give themselves another chance. Speak to your union asap. Good luck
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    This reply may be too late. If you have more than 30days off in your 3induction terms, the verdict on the last term cannot be made until you have served the surplus days (those in excess of 30).
    Did you have any time off in the other school/s? That includes sickness leave or any other absence such attending a funeral.
  4. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    If two schools are prepared to state that you’re failing to meet the required standards, even in the midst of this recruitment crisis, then maybe it’s time to leave all the stress behind and just do something different with your life.

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