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Help! I haven't had a NQT observation

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by LisaLove82, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. or any meetings with my mentor since beginning my job in September. Can I fail my first term or can observations be back dated, if done after xmas? Advice please as starting to stress my self out!!
  2. alan1970

    alan1970 New commenter

    Dear LisaLove82,

    It is essential that your school meets its obligations regarding NQT mentoring and guidance.
    Ideally, you should have received one fortnightly meeting with your NQT mentor. They should have also completed an NQT Induction Assessment and submitted this to the LA for review. You are obliged to undergo 3 formal observations as part of your NQT assessment over the course of the year. In your situation this leaves until December 16th to get one in. However, there is scope to fit in two after the Christmas holiday period but this will place you under increasing pressure - especially as you haven't yet had a formally recorded/minuted meeting.

    I would suggest that you have a polite but insistent word with your NQT mentor and/or also your NQT Induction tutor at school to finally get the ball rolling.

    Make sure that you record all messages and emails for your personal reference because ultimately, the school has an obligation to support you through your NQT year (after all by employing you as an NQt, this was an implicit expectation).
    You will have the right to legal redress (big time) if you fail the NQT year due to their mismanagement of your circumstances. Just make sure that you keep a check on everything and complete your part of the deal by progressing towards the standards. Even if this means sometimes arranging observations on yourself (with clear observation criteria) by other colleagues. Keep checking your progress against the induction standards and find a colleague who is prepared to help you.

    Good luck!
  3. You need to talk to your assigned mentor and stress the importance of meeting the legal obligations associated with induction. You should have been observed within six weeks of starting induction and then roughly every half term so that at the end of the year there are six observations in total.
    The LA will require the Head to submit a report on your first term stating whether or not you are making satisfactory progress, most ask the trainee to confirm that the school has provided mentoring and support - which your school has not. In an extreme circumstance then the LA could, if it feels that no induction has taken place, refuse to accept the first term as completed and require a further term, but that would be very extreme and you would have strong grounds for an appeal if they tried to do this. Ultimately the Head has a responsibility to ensure that induction is properly conducted - another extreme would be the LA refusing to allow the school to employ NQTs on the bais that they cannot provide the statutorylegal requirements for induction.
    There is still some time to try and rectify the situation, but the mentor, the head and you must ensure that the obligations are met, so two observationbs between now and the end of term and meetings that set targets and review progress, so that when you sign the forms that state that you have been provided with support you are not signing something that is incorrect. I woiuld also contact your union rep and provide them with full details in case the school tries to do anything silly (e.g. ignore their legal obligations but insist that you sign a form to the effect that you are happy with the support). The union does not necessarily have to do anything at the moment, so the school still has a chance to get it sorted. Do also keep a record of any conversations you have, any meetings or any e-mails, memos etc.

  4. alan1970

    alan1970 New commenter

    The point that James has made about the Union rep is well made. Always worth keeping them in the loop especially as you may require their support if the school doesn't offer you the level of support required according to its obligations.

    You are of course (without wishing to know pertinent details) a member of teaching union, aren't you? If not, get involved in one as a matter of urgency. NQT's typically qualify on a student teacher basis for at least a year on a free to subsidised membership. The benefits for you at this time could be immeasurable.

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