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Forced to resign during NQT year

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Bexxxicle, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    Hi all.

    I’ve never posted on a forum before so please forgive me for my ignorance.

    I was a very lucky trainee to get a post in a high school known for its reputation in my subject. They even allowed me to finish my training there instead of returning to placement A. I was employed on 0.5FTE so knew I had to complete 2 years NQT induction. The first year was amazing, I had little to no contact with my mentor, I didn’t even realise this was an issue. I had two formal observations which I was deemed as making good progress and satisfactory progress.

    In the autumn term of 2017, my partner lost his job and suddenly we were living on my part time salary. This was a stressful time and he didn’t get work until end of January 2018. The job he got was within the site team of the school I worked in. Before he was working, I had several days off due to stress and anxiety to do with finances. I sought out support from my line manager and the head of HR in the school. The line manager recommended counselling and the HR person gave me an out of date NHS mental health helpline. That was the extent of help and support I was offered.

    During the spring term, the support I had was minimal, in fact due to the stresses I started to wonder what I was actually entitled to. (Remember, I’ve already completed a year.) once I did some research, I discovered that my school was not supporting me as suggested by DofE. I then raised this with my mentor and line manager. Nothing changed. So I requested my external contact from the appropriate body. I got this in March 2018 - it should have been shared upon registration of the induction.

    After calling the local authority and explaining, they said that they would do a quality assurance visit to the school. Now this is where is goes downhill.

    From this very moment, my line manager (deputy head) and mentor have been bullying me. An action plan was put in place but once my rep and the LA were ‘out of sight’, my support was reduced, I was expected to produce mountainous amounts of evidence, goalposts changed on agreed targets. The deputy head wasn’t even present in the action plan meeting yet he was changing everything afterwards. I was told I needed to be more proactive and arrange observations of other teachers. Once I did this, my mentor wanted me to change who I had chosen as they felt ‘they were too shouty’ for me to observe their practice. So I couldn’t win.

    There have been meetings after meetings and I have been described as hostile. Feedback has been delayed so the deputy can alter things and falsely quote me on things I never said. Everything I write or say has been overanalysed and even when I try to explain my intentions, I then get told ‘it’s pretty black and white what you intended’. There is far more but really, it feels like they didn’t like being pulled up on the induction and then they punish me for wanting to be the best teacher I can be. And when I say that their response is ‘ah so you aren’t a good teacher.’ It’s incredibly frustrating to have everything you say, write or do skewered to the point you don’t even recognise the person they’re trying to say you are.

    Anyway, they gave me a letter saying they couldn’t recommend me to pass. So I was advised to leave, resign and bank my two successful terms. I have done this. My reference includes an absolute lie from the head on why I am leaving and not completing the induction - he’s actually said it’s due to my masters degree and my own personal issues. Which isn’t true. It was due to communication breakdown between myself and the school and my rep alluded that the school may not pass me, anyway, despite what I do. And they report my mentor has started to fill out is disgustingly biased, filled with lies and twisting everything. For example, I offered to complete an extracurricular activity over the next few weeks despite leaving the school, for the students’ sake. However, last week, when I had to tell the students I was leaving, it became too overwhelming. I communicated this to my HoD who was happy for me to withdraw from the extracurricular activity and understood. In the report, they’ve used this ‘evidence’ against my communication with the school. How can they do this? It’s awful.

    I’m completing disillusioned by this experience, I don’t know if I’ll ever work in secondary again because of it. The workplace I once loved more than my own home, became an unwelcoming and deceitful environment. Not one person involved in my induction, head included, came to say goodbye to me. Only my head of department and she was heartbroken.

    I’m heartbroken and I just hope there are NQTs out there that have been in a similar situation and recovered from it and gone on to succeed?


    A broken NQT
  2. rustyfeathers

    rustyfeathers Occasional commenter


    Not the same situation, but similar. I resigned (with little choice) at the Easter, with two terms banked. I took some time out, then did some daily supply and youth work before starting and completing my third and final term with a supportive school the following September. That was 5 years ago, and I'm still teaching now. It is possible -- if you decide you want that. If you can, take some time out for yourself, and get signed up with agencies for September.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Bex

    Sorry you have had this happen. Teaching and completing a NQT year is stressful enough without the added pressures of money worries.

    I hope you recover and go on to complete your induction elsewhere as not all schools are lime the one you just left and there are many people who have left in circumstances similar to yours and have gone on to complete their N QT year and have successful careers.

    Don't give up just yet as you have come so far. Excellent advice about supply from Rusty feathers.

    Sending you a super big hug.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  4. exploration

    exploration New commenter

    This may come across as insensitive, but why rock the boat so close to finishing your NQT year(s)? I’m assuming that since your partner was then in work, things were getting less stressful for you, then you decide to pipe up and almost throw the book at them. They have a duty of care, yes, but if it were me, I’d have kept quiet, finished induction, then taken myself to a different, more supportive school.
    Pomza likes this.
  5. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I also had a horrid NQT year. I too was forced to resign. Luckily I managed to get a maternity cover role at an amazing school, and completed the induction the following year. I now teach overseas, because I don't want to teach in UK schools.
    If you decide to try again I hope you can find a lovely school. Good luck!
    nutrition02, hammie and pepper5 like this.
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    The OP clearly wanted support in order to improve her teaching. It is not a matter of having 'a duty of care' - the DfE lays out what its expectations of induction are - and as induction is statutory schools should follow these guidelines. The OP was not wrong to expect her school to offer her the basic requirements of induction, such as having regular meetings with her mentor, which is why she tried to get more support. Keeping quiet would not have resulted in her improving, would it?
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    I totally understand what you’re saying and it took me a long time before I did say something as I thought the same thing: I don’t want to rock the boat.
    Basically, I felt unsure about the final term assessment coming up with the very little support I’d been given. I had one meeting with my mentor in early 18 months before I piped up. So I want what I was entitled to ensure passing. Obviously this backfired severely and I really didn’t see it coming. It was always intended when I was offered the post, that eventually I would take over the department. They were some really big shoes to fill and I wanted all the help I could get before that point came.
  8. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    Yes absolutely! I just wanted the basics to get me through while I was in a low point.

    Thanks for this, it’s nice to read something so positive. I’m extremely lucky and have been offered a post in a College so I have accepted and start in September.
  9. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    Sorry to add another reply - the stress wasn’t reduced really as my partner didn’t drive. His previous job was in our village so he never needed travel. I was having to take him in for shifts that started at 6.30am or ended at 10.30pm so I had very little rest with my own commute and responsibilities. Now I know this isn’t the schools issue, but they were aware and how it was affecting my progress but didn’t do anything other than check to see if I had signed up for counselling. Theyve since tried to say I never communicated this to the school which is untrue. And by ‘do anything’ I mean, more contact with my mentor may have helped - to have that confidence.
  10. exploration

    exploration New commenter

    I didn’t imply she was wrong - I simply asked for further clarification. Let’s not speak with such condescension, shall we?
  11. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    Although I freely gave further clarification, you didn’t exactly ask for it. I actually did find your original response condescending to be honest but I decided perhaps you didn’t mean that and wanted more info. Maybe you could extend the same courtesy to bluesky. Please do not start something on this thread. I’ve had enough unnecessary confrontation and miscommunication this year to last a life time. I appreciate all the time you guys have taken to read and reply. I was simply looking for encouragement from those in a similar type of situation that made it out the other side despite the challenges/set backs.
  12. rustyfeathers

    rustyfeathers Occasional commenter

    Oh, I'm so pleased for you about September! Make sure you spend time this summer unwinding, if that's possible. A little bit of self-care and some self-indulgence sounds needed!

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Congratulations about September - I really hope that things work out for you.

    Some schools treat NQTs shockingly. You did the right thing by raising it with the school first, and it's a shame that they took this as a hostile gesture rather than an observation that you needed a bit more help. I would look on it as their loss, frankly. In a time when schools desperately need motivated staff, it staggers me that they treat the staff they have this way.
  14. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Where does your master's degree come in to all of this?? Are you trying to do a master's at the same time as an NQT??? That is more or less impossible. Both demand a huge amount of time and commitment - as well as running your husband around. Impossible - you are spreading yourself too thinly.
    Sorry to sound a warning bell about colleges. They are not all beds of roses. Especially if you are teaching re-sit English and Maths. Vocational subjects are better. I'm not sure how you complete NQT in college as teacher training and expectations are different. FE trained teachers do QTLS. However, once you have the NQT no-one really cares a fig. Also, how are you going to keep taking your husband to work? He needs to be able to arrange his commute somehow or other In order to take the pressure off you
  15. patternandsurface

    patternandsurface Occasional commenter

    Please make sure you take out some time for yourself this summer. Rest, be lazy, catch up on your reading list and tv, take a holiday - just let yourself be you.
  16. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    Thank you so much for writing this - I'm sorry it's taken me a while to respond. I am glad to see this kind thinking rather than negative.
  17. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter


    I was working part time doing 2.5 days a week. The masters is also part time at 1 day a week. My partner got his bike back on the road shortly after writing this. I am not expecting my new job to be without challenges but it is already far more positive and encouraging towards career development which is something I was severely lacking at my previous post. You can continue your NQT induction at an FE college, I have checked the handbook and discussed with my manager who is enthusiastic about me completing it with her.

    EDIT: I am also teaching Performing Arts only :)
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
    mothergoose2013 and pepper5 like this.
  18. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    Hi Joanne.

    This is very interesting and I will definitely be looking into it further. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my original post. :)
    pepper5 likes this.
  19. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    Thank you that is so kind. I am feeling well rested and ready to go now! I did take a lot of time to myself but I think I really needed it. I finally feel like ME again. :) I hope you are also well :)
    rustyfeathers and pepper5 like this.
  20. Bexxxicle

    Bexxxicle New commenter

    This is EXACTLY what I did. It really helped me find myself again. Thank you for the kind advice :)
    pepper5 and blueskydreaming like this.

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