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Not making satisfactory progress - how? why? confused!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by blueskydreaming, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Just been told this week (by email) that I am 'not making satisfactory progress against the standards' at the end of term 1 (but that they expect me to have made sufficient progress by the end of the school year). Putting aside the fact that this should have been communicated to me sooner, and in person, plus the issues I've had with complete lack of support (see my earlier post) ... I was just wondering if anyone could enlighten me as to how a person can be deemed to not be making satisfactory progress when there is actually evidence for all of the standards in the NQT report that the school has completed, and the targets that I've been given are 'next step' type targets such as 'increase pace in lessons' and 'develop positive feedback', which I consider to be small issues (and generic ones) rather than major ones. I don't consider myself to have not made progress, and feedback from lesson observations has shown progress. So, on the flip side, how little progress does one need to make in order to not be making progress?

    I've been advised by someone that this is political; the school can submit this report after term 1, then when I pass in term 3 they look fantastic. Do you think this realistically is the situation?

    I think the main problem is that the person in charge of NQTs in the school has misconstrued something, and made an incorrect judgement about me, but I can't do anything to address that misconception because their mind is made up, and they're someone who is very sure of themself. Also, I know that this person is a total snake and not to be trusted, based on the treatment of a member of staff that I'm aware of, so I am worried that I could end up failing term 2 as well, at which point it would probably be too late to resign in order to not fail term 3.

    So what action should I take? Advice appreciated. But please note I'm in a very vulnerable position (I feel that I am), so I am scared of doing anything such as getting my union involved or speaking to the NQT people at the local council.

    Thank you!
  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    This seems to happen quite a bit... IMV, what's likely is that someone in SLT has heard something "not good" about you via the mill.. This has been discussed in meetings you weren't invited to (and with no formal records) and it's been decided that "we can't sign off on this".

    So, despite you having the actual evidence and despite the fact that Induction is supposed to be about a gentle introduction to your teaching career, these people - far away from their own Induction for it to be a dim memory - think their role is to withhold your rating.

    No. Someone doesn't think your face fits. It might be that you are thought of as not being good at Behaviour Management - which, due to the way that works in most schools, no one is in their first year! Or something else.

    Sounds about right.

    You can walk up to the last half term so there's plenty of time at Easter to leave. (Don't worry about the notice period - if you're failing they should be pleased to see you go. If they won't let you go they you can point out that they're being utterly illogical in keeping you in front of the kids!)

    Honestly, get the council - or whoever is the contact person at your Induction panel - involved ASAP. In theory, the school should already have done this before notifying you of their "not on track" judgement.

    The Induction panel people are more used to this than you'd imagine. They know schools get it wrong all the time and getting them involved is likely to get things fixed.

    Most likely thing is there'll be an "Action Plan" which they will make sure is realistic.
    QknightyQ likes this.
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Thank you Paul, I really appreciate your response, and your honest assessment of the situation!
  4. sofia_sen

    sofia_sen Occasional commenter

    What a frustrating situation!

    Did you not have a formal observation and assessment by the end of the first term? Something that your mentor, you and the headteacher had to sign? Not sure if different local authorities have different procedures but that was what I had to do in December. Did that say you were not on track or was everything fine there and now suddenly after the break they have come up with this?

    It doesn't make sense to me for a school to rate you lower or fail you but I also realise after reading all the different topics here that my school is probably the positive exception.

    If this would happen to me I would go to the local authority NQT person and explain the situation. I would definitely not sign anything that says I'm not on track unless of course I really wasn't and a support plan has been put in place.
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    This is a poor state of affairs. I do advise my trainees to ensure their first school is one where they will feel supported as an NQT. Standard AfL says no grade should come as a surprise. If this grade has been a shock then the assessor is at fault - likely your NQT mentor. Meticulous evidence gathering is the best advice and a hard job search to get out of there.
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    This is my formal assessment from the end of the first term - it's been done late because the person responsible was so 'busy'. We had the actual meeting at the end of December, but the report has not been done till now. It was not said at the meeting that I was not meeting the standards.
  7. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Ah well, you see, I did gather evidence in the same way as on the PGCE, and even made a little spreadsheet to track what I have and what I need and what I could get in future. But the NQT Coordinator (or whatever title) wasn't interested in paper evidence, he wanted anecdotal evidence. He decided what evidence he wanted, and asked for it, e.g. 'Have you done anything where you've differentiated?' 'Well, yes, such and such group is full of SEN students, so...' (then my target ends up being differentiating for that group?!).
  8. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Oh, were you referring to evidence against the school, to illustrate the situation I am in? Think you were. Opps.
  9. sofia_sen

    sofia_sen Occasional commenter

    I would first have a meeting within the school to say the report does not reflect the meeting you had in December. If that doesn't change anything, go to the LA.

    I would also ask what they are planning to do to support you, they sound like the kind of school that doesn't even realise they should

    And look for another job asap!
  10. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Firstly you can respond on the first assessment form itself as there is a place for your comments. You can also discuss with the named person for the appropriate body who have overall responsibility for the quality of induction. If there are causes for concern about your performance these need to be clearly identified and a clear action plan put in place to clarify what support is provided- these are standard induction processes and part of the statutory guidance.
    I agree the "areas for concern" identified do not seem significant and usual for most new teachers. The vast majority of schools consider these part and parcel of the NQT year and not worth a concern.
  11. JMoogle

    JMoogle New commenter

    SO many NQTs seeming like they are going to fail their year. I blame the schools and the politian teachers who are trying to control everything. Its not fair! You're only an NQT and they can't expect you to be perfect! I think you should leave and find another school which is much more supportive even if that seems like a difficult option. What have you finally decided? Are you staying or going? What did they exactly hear about you that they ended up making such a harsh decision? Surely it can't have been that bad? :S I really hope you pass your NQT year. I am starting mine In September, I haven't even thought about my Q standards yet. I hope I don't fail my NQT year. I hear a lot of schools deliberately take on NQTs because they are cheap to pay than teachers on M2 or above. and maybe they deliberately fail NQTs and do this over again the next year so they dont have to pay. I guess it really is make it or break it. I'm ACTUALLY terrified about my NQT year, God only knows what's gona happen to me :S

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