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James -Advice re references for NQT on sick leave

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by p0werplut0, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. NQT - with 1 year contract. I will have had 12 weeks off and given in a sick note until the end of term.I have had one meeting with the school since going off sick and they were supportive of my "illness" (Stress) and understanding that it was "beyond my control" the head likened it to her own postnatal depression when she too couldn't realise how ill she was until it came to the crunch.
    So on one hand they have been sympathetic but on the other they refused to listen when I said my induction wasn't conducted properly.

    The LA has also listened to my coherent and well structured bullet points about a lack of induction but done nothing - it's like they are scared of the school.

    LA will give me an automatic extension - I just need to find a new post.

    However, I'm concerned I will get a poor reference with just the dates of my employment. Elsewhere (on the forums) it says I should get the Union involved for a supportive reference, but I'm not sure he would be useful as he appears quite confrontational.

    So has it stands I want to stay on sick leave (half pay) until end of contract and then find supply work or another post through an agency, so I presume I will get a poor reference. I also presume at any interview I'll be ultra diplomatic and just say it was not the right school for me.

    What do you think? I'm not going to re-locate either and will be looking at new schools within 20 mile radius of old school.

    However, I have also learnt an invaluable lesson from the whole experience and know that my eyes will be wide open in any new post and I will be able to work much more effectively and ask for help if required.

    Now I know what Induction should be I'll be keeping a concise diary of every day and compiling copious evidence for each standard.

    Over the summer I'm also going to work hard at improving my subject knowledge and also doing yoga and meditation so I won't get stressed again.

    I know I'm in a much better place and will be a much better teacher because of the problems this year.

    It's a hard way to learn - but WHY is it not unusual for schools to totally disregard induction procedures and policies yet be untouchable when it all goes pear-shaped and it's only the poor NQT who gets shafted.
  2. I just wanted to say I really feel for you, and hope things work out well in the end. I completely agree that schools are able to disregard induction procedures and yet remain untouchable, and that it is the NQT who suffers rather than anyone in school.
    I've had some really low points in my NQT year, which I'm due to complete at the end of this term. I spent several weeks in tears every day, being told off in front of my class by the headteacher and I felt, rightly or wrongly, that the head was actively setting me up to fail and putting obstacles in my way. I spoke to the LA NQT person, and she basically told me to put up and shut up, and be very careful about what I was saying: my head is very well respected and connected in the LA. My doctor wanted to sign me off with stress but I knew that if that was the case, my head would make it impossible for me.
    Anyway, I'm ending the year feeling positive and looking forward to the future in my school. I would seriously consider moving if there were other jobs around, but there aren't, so I need to make the most of my permanent position, even if it's not in the most ideal school for me. I have come to grips with the fact that my headteacher is just really not my cup of tea, and I don't think I'm his. I am also coming to grips with the fact that I haven't had all the mentoring and induction procedures, and still done OK, so what's the point in making a fuss? I saw the CPD bookings with the LA for the next academic year yesterday, and all members of staff, from the caretaker to teachers and the head are booked onto several courses... all apart from me! But again, what's the point or use in making a fuss? I just end up getting wound up and cross, and that doesn't help at all.
    So, I do feel for you. Try and think of the positive aspects of the job, and your successes so far this year. It really does get easier.


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