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gutted about my NQT post :-(

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by crunchynutter, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Hi all,
    I'm one week into my first job as an NQT and completely demotivated and fed up already. I completed my PGCE in July after a really stressful and difficult year with personal problems and was over the moon when, in May I managed to secure my first teaching post. It was a temporary post to cover maternity in a reception class. I had had a few interviews before getting the job but every one I had attended had eventually gone to an internal candidate and I'd received really good feedback from all the interviews. Everyone here will know what a relief it is to get your first teaching post and I felt like things were getting back on track. Partly out of nerves, and also other questions I had about the post I didn't clarify the length of the post at interview and was led to believe it would be a year long post. On being offered the post that night I asked the HT how long the post would be for and was told 1 term. I deliberated over this but reconciled that it was a good school, with many challenges that I would learn a lot and benefit from, and I would get a third of my NQT year out the way and was guarenteed income til xmas. I'd be able to apply for jobs for January onwards to complete my induction. It wasn't ideal, but I appreciated how competitive the market was in our area and felt lucky to have a job and felt I could really make a difference to some of the children giving them a good start and receiving good training.
    One of my questions in the interview had been about the NQT package and was told I would receive great support, obviously getting my PPA and NQT time, guided through a self-audit package to enable tailor-made training specific to my needs and the HT would be my NQT mentor.
    I found out this week the school are not registering me as an NQT (and only found this out because I took the bull by the horns and asked the headteacher about timetabling and said I hadn't received any notification of my induction programme, nor my contract). I was then told in no uncertain terms that they would not be registering me "just in case" the lady on maternity decided to come back early as they need to keep her job open. I would not get any further training, would not get my extra planning time and would be expected to submit all my planning weekly but not to be at a standard lower to any other teacher in the school. Also kindly informed that we are due Ofsted and they expect at least a good if not outstanding and will be disappointed with me otherwise.
    Just feel totally overwhelmed by everything and stupid. I figured as I had asked about NQT support I would receive and they detailed this (even using the words "you will receive") that I would receive it. My TA felt this was unfair and spoke to the teacher on maternity who said that she had told the school she was definitely not coming back earlier. So I can't understand why this can't count towards my NQT. Feeling a little bit sorry for myself atm, as I just feel I'm expected to be as experienced as someone who has been doing the job years, when essentially as an NQT I am still learning. I feel I would have been better off doing supply, as feel constantly under pressure to do everything without any support or training and as such may "miss something". To make matters worse all my support staff/nursery nurses etc are all really demotivated with new working conditions/expectations so it looks from the outside that everyone's really unhappy since I came in, which they have told me is not the case.
    Sorry for the rant, just feel totally messed around and essentially used.
    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    If you are there a term they legally have to register you so don't take any rubbish, speak to the LA directly or your union.
    Secondly get onto the jobs that are coming out as soon as they do. Do you really want to stay somewhere where they go back on their word etc? If there is any danger of the lady coming back early you need to look out for your own interests/NQT and get something else anyway x
  3. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Hi there, I also had a very tough NQT year (for other reasons) and if Ofsted hadn't come when they did I would have left by Christmas.
    You should discuss with your union, but from what I believe, any post due to last a term should qualify you to be registered as an NQT. You are also entitled to NQT time and additional training. Infact, on a temporary contract my union guide mentions that you should not be discrimnated against in training and support etc. You should be entitled to propper support and training. Check with your union and also contact your LEA NQT support advisor (although in my experience this person wasn't very good at their job, they are certianly a port of call).
    Hope this helps, City.
  4. I thought they had to register you but personally think they're keeping their options open, if she does come back they can get rid of me without being obliged to keep me on to satisfy my nqt term, if she doesnt then they're not left in the lurch as I'm guessing me leaving would be a breach of contract (despite me not having even received a copy of it- apparently there's always a delay as it comes from the LA)?? I don't want to stay there and this whole situation has made me feel really negative about the place which I'm hating as it is not fair on the children in my class, they need a teacher who is enthusiastic and wants to be there, and I am really trying to keep that but it's left me really drained this week. Since I've found out it's not going to count towards my NQT year I've been counting down the weeks til xmas so I can leave, feel almost like it's a waste of my time, as now I won't be able to complete my NQT year this year. Everythings just contradictory, one minute they're telling me that I'm in charge, they're expecting me to be innovative and creative, and the next they're telling me to just ask my support staff as "they will carry you through", I'm meant to follow schemes of work that everyone's giving me at the last minute so I don't feel prepared, if I ask for them sooner I'm made to feel that they're going out of their way to do something they shouldn't have to bother with. Just feel totally lost with it all, taken me ages to get motivated to do my planning today.
    There's not many jobs advertised atm in our area, one or two with a nov start which would be fine if teacher did come back early but darent apply for any like that in case she doesnt (which she says she isnt anyways) and the school wouldn't release me as its a black mark against my name at the start of my career.
    thanks for your reply x
  5. Hi
    If you have a contract for one term then the school has no option but to register you for induction and the provide the full induction 'package'. It is not on to treat a NQT in this way.
    You must contact your union and also contact the LA yourself about this. Headteachers I know are strapped for cash, but not registering you when you have a one term contract is illegal and it is also very unfair to you as this means that your 16 month supply clock was be starting if this is not an inductable post.
    Heads must realise that when they employ people they have responsibilities towrds their employees. Saying things like 'I'm hedging my bets' about whether or not a person comes back from maternity is not on. They either employ for the full term a NQT and then they provide induction or they ONLY employ supply on a day to day basis, which means you can pply for jobs and leave almost on a whim. This is the bit they don't like - they wish to tie you to a committment and regular teaching but drop you like a hot potato when it suits. This is just unfair.
    If this person does not come back and you do complete an unregistered term the only loser is YOU.
    The head must make a decision, either he/she wants you for a term or not. Then you both know where you stand and can make informed choices.
  6. thanks for your reply James, I suppose I'll have to pull my big girl pants on and confront the HT again. I asked at the beginning of the week, after being put off with "I'll have to check with the LA" the week previously, "So, am I being registered as an NQT or...?" and was told "No. Sorry I cant due to maternity laws". Surely if it was a legal requirement to register me as an NQT the school would know this? I will have to speak to my union as I feel having spoken to the HT 3 times about the issue I'm not going to get much further without getting everyone's backs up.
    Just worried about the implications, if I do push the matter or leave, then where does that leave me with references/ word of mouth between headteachers, or even if I stay and manage to get NQT will that effect how they assess me through that time? I was so enthusiastic before this week and really looking forward to the post even when I realised it was going down to a term as I felt I was getting one step closer to being the teacher I want to be with my own little class and classroom. Just feel its 1 step forward and 10 back! x
  7. I can see where you are coming from - heads have a lot of sway in LAs and with other heads. So what you need to do is clarify with the current head the 'rules of the game'.
    1. If you have a signed one term contract with a specified end date that is at least one term from your start date then you must be registered as a NQT with the LA. If the maternity leave comes back BEFORE the end of your contract - then the school has an extra teacher for a short period who can do extra support and cover (that could be you or the returner).
    2. If your contract is that there is no specified end date (an open contract) then you need to know the minimum notice period and the Head needs to know that you will be actively seeking work that is inductable otherwise it is grossly unfair to you - i.e. you have to stay, but they don't have to keep you - there has to be a realisation that if the head wants to hedge the bets then what's good for them is also good for you - that is you leaving whenever you obtain another post that is inductable with the minimum notice, even if this is before the end of a term (e.g. as if you were on daily supply work).
    3. Maternity law does not override NQT law. Registering you for induction has nothing to do with maternity law - there is nothing that says - NQTs covering a maternity leave do not have to be registered. The head is 'using' a phrase here to try and bamboozle you I think.
    Explain to the head that while you sympathise with thier dilemma, you also have an issue in that without induction you are unable to be employed as a qualified teacher and that this can stop your career in its path. All that you are asking is that they make up their mind about what the employment period is. If the head wanted a really flexible post which did not compromise anyone then they should have not advertised or stated at any point that the post was suitable for a NQT. Then they could employ on daily supply/weekly supply someone who has passed induction and there would be no problem.
  8. Thank you James,
    will try and grab bull by the horns tomorrow and see if I can have a word with the HT. Just wish they'd been honest from the start. I wouldn't have taken the job if I'd known it wasn't going to count towards my NQT. It sounds superficial to say that but my priority is to get my NQT out the way. I also hate not knowing when I am going to be out of a job. I will let you know how I get on with it, am so nervous about it. Most staff don't seem to want to approach the head about other issues so that hasn't helped. Haven't slept much the last two nights and had totally bonkers dreams about school when I have. lol. I expected to be nervous about my first post but this just feels like another teaching placement only without the support. Glad I've left the essays behind though :) x
  9. Bloody hell. What utter neck. You do bump into some *** leading **** organisations, for better words.
  10. well, asked to have a word with the HT and shes busy until Thursday. I am a little shocked that she hasn't asked to see me to see how I'm settling in and if I need anything/how things have gone over the 1st week but anyways. I have rung my Union who I am reserving judgement on as they have emailed me over a generic "About Your Induction" sheet, which tells me if I'm doing a term I should be registered. Which is what I knew already. Next I finally got a number for my LA and rang them to see if I can get a copy of my contract as until I find out if I have a stated finish date I don't know where I stand with anything, and they've gone home early. suppose I best get on with some planning now, as it has to be at an impeccable standard. incidentally my TA told me the lady I'm covering contacted the HT on Friday to repeat again that she isn't coming back any earlier than a week before xmas but that doesn't seem to have made any difference. I am also being sent on training in 2 days time and have no idea where it is, and when I asked was brushed off again in the staff meeting. feeling really fed up. going to look to see if any more jobs have come up now :-/ x
  11. Crunchy:
    after all your hard work I hope it all pays off for you and you get sorted. You will learn so much from this and come out of it stronger and wiser. Thinking of you!
  12. Good luck in sorting all this out.
  13. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Please keep pushing this, both with the HT and the LA (and your union) and in writing- emails etc- as well. It's outrageous what they are trying and is completely unfair (as is the Ofsted thing- because NQTs aren't usually judged AFAIK, they might be observedbut with more focus on how the school supports and inducts). Good luck and keep going!
  14. thank you and I will let you all know how I get on. I'm ringing LA tomorrow to try and sort out what exactly my contract says and why I havent received it. am swinging from extremes at the moment. really enjoying being with the kids, but no motivation when I get home to plan/write up obs etc. there are more jobs being advertised now but for november starts which last until july but obviously have no idea when I'll be leaving my current post. so frustrating. not as fussed about ofsted at the moment to be fair as as you said, if I got an average grading it would only be a reflection of the support and training I've received so will try not to take anything personally. thanks for all your feedback. still waiting on the union email as well :-/ x
  15. Reading about your dreadful situation from Spain, where I work as an English teacher. The system here is totally different and too complicated to explain but what's happening you could never ever happen here because teachers are selected on a competitive-exam basis at regional level and not by individual schools, so there are no interviews and word-of-mouth doesn't come into it. Do keep fighting for your rights. Best of luck.
  16. zippygeorgeandben

    zippygeorgeandben Occasional commenter

    I'm so sorry to hear about your predicament. This is not your fault and quite frankly, I'm outraged at the treatment you are receiving. The only advice I have is that you need to be proactive. Keep on the Headteachers case. Email her. Keep on the LA's case. Keep ringing, Keep on the Union's case. They touted your membership and should do everything they say they will do to help you 'just in case things don't go to plan'. Well tell them this.
    Any discussions you have with HT, personally I would say how you are making a recording of all conversations, minutes if you will to put towards the LA and Union. She may choose her words carefully and you might 'speed up the situation'
    Keep us informed.
  17. I can only add to what the other posters have written. I'm a HT, and I wouldn't dream of doing to an NQT (or any other member of staff, for that matter) all that has happened to you.
    I know that you have had advice as to keep on everyone's case and I can only echo that, but I would also try to follow follow phone calls up with e-mails, even if only summarising what was discussed, simply as a means of keeping a written record of your questions and the replies.
    Please, please remember the reasons for going into the job and you will find a position where you are appreciated and where the Senior Leaders of the school will keep their word. Would it be worth asking the Deputy for clarification, seeing as the head isn't available until Thursday!
    All HTs are watching their budgets, but this should not be at the expense of breaking what is good practice and what is fair and just!
    Try to keep positive - you have been given some sound advice here. Don't forget to let us know how you get on.

  18. Wow. Just...wow. That is abysmal. I can't really add any practical advice here but I just want you to know that when you get to the right school then you'll be thrilled to bits and I am sure you'll love your career. It's a great job and from the sound of your enthusiasm I'm sure you'll be marvellous once you get settled somewhere decent.
    Best of luck.
  19. Hi Crunchy...
    I was in your position way back in 2001 - I was a qualified teacher from America and knew nothing about the NQT/QTS thing and the school failed to induct me or do anything to support me. I left England after that year to look after my mother who had become ill and widowed. I returned this year and ... the QTS bombshell dropped (the clock had started ticking and I never knew there was one). I was not allowed to teach (despite having a Master's degree and having 10 years teaching experience) and am now embarked on a PGCE course to gain this magical document called QTS. I am now almost at retirement age here; almost, but not quite - I am going to have a tough hill to climb. So, stick your big girl panties on and really talk to your Head Teacher and the Local Authority. If you don't, you will regret it - and it may be more costly to you than a bad reference. It may be a good idea to talk to several teaching agencies if nothing turns up for January; it's not ideal, but I think it would definitely be better than not teaching. Being with the kids and seeing those light bulbs go on when they 'get it' is worth all of the heartache. I love all of my kids and I'm still in contact with my very first class and subsequent classes. I hear about their tough new teachers, their homework woes, and how they still miss me - teaching is a wonderful thing. Don't let anyone deny you the joy that could be yours. You worked hard for your success. Good luck to you :)
  20. <font size="4">I had 1 term (Less a week as she came back early) of maternity cover as an NQT which was fine, however this was in an Autumn term, when I got to September (having had 2 terms on pay scale 1) I was told I had to complete a full year on MP1 and they only change pay scales in September. Consequently I had to teach for 5 terms on MP1.

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