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NQT advice on leaving please.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Monikara2, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Monikara2

    Monikara2 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I'm an NQT and I've been working in a primary school starting September. I have a rather challenging class with a number of SEND pupils including a child with substantial behavioural issues. It has all been ok until this week where I received a not so pleasant email from the HT regarding concerns, mainly concerns I never knew existed based on no solid evidence such as observations (since I've not had any) in a very unconstructive and not so supportive manner. I then went to see her to talk about it as I was rather upset and thought a lot of it seemed unfair as like I said I've not had any observations for her to make accusations about certain things. I can take constructive criticism and of course own up to mistakes which I admitted I did make one which she mentioned but I am still learning, I never claimed to be perfect.

    I was literally hounded with all the things she had said in the email when I stepped into her her office, anything I said to defend my self was thrown back in my face, she didn't care that I'm an NQT. I mentioned that the support isn't there and she accused me of lying and called my mentor and told her I said she wasn't supportive. Everything was my fault including things such as poor attendance and I am expected to fix it all without any mention of support. I quiet frankly left that office feeling attacked or even bullied almost. I went home feeling rather emotional/sick/anxious/stressed and like an incapable and rubbish teacher not wanting to return to school.

    I feel the way things were dealt with were horrendous, she was 'furious' at me and most certainly made that clear by the way I was spoken to. I currently feel like I'd rather not work in a school where the HT will stomp on you rather than support/inspire you to do better and develop.
    I'd like to leave asap but not sure what the best way to go about it is. Nor do I want to ruin my chances of future jobs because of this which is my main concern.

    Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.
  2. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I feel for you.

    An e-mail is NOT the way to voice 'concerns' for starters. Far more professional would have been a 'review meeting.'

    To be blamed for poor attendance is extreme as well. What are you actually supposed to do? Physically knock on the doors of your class and drag them out to school? (which you can't of course for child protection etc reasons)

    You should also be supported as an NQT, any actual concerns should be dealt with in a 'we can offer you extra support' sort of way.

    I would be tempted to go to your Union but for your career's sake, I would get looking for other teaching jobs NOW and get out at the end of December if necessary.(hoping you get a decent reference but cross that bridge if/when you need to................)

    Unfortunately, some Heads are just outright bullies and you sound like you have got one at your school. A reliable indicator is if the Head has been there some time, if you discover staff turnover is high, you know why!
    solvacrime, disconic and snowyhead like this.
  3. Monikara2

    Monikara2 New commenter

    Exactly, nothing about the situation has been handled in a professional manor.

    The school is due an OFSTED inspection so I'm not sure if that has caused such an extreme reaction. I know that the two NQT's from last year are no longer at the school and one apparently left because she was bullied out.

    I've already mentioned it to someone within the union but everything is confidential between them and myself at the moment, they had contacted the districts NQT programme leader to help but again nothing is getting back to the school till I decide it should. Do you think getting the union involved is going to cause issues?

    I really can't stand the thought of working there till December. Reference wise, could I not just use my university/placement schools?
  4. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Monikara - I would get another teaching job to start in January, then buy yourself 2-3 advent calendars and count off the schooldays left one by one by means of chocolate!

    Of course, if it gets to a point where your health becomes seriously affected, consider getting signed off.
    notsonorthernlass likes this.
  5. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Hi Monikara I have sent you a PM.
  6. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Hi Monikara2

    I have taught for 30 years, was an induction tutor for trainee teachers in a school with nor 2000. I now advise teachers upon their employment rights.

    I understand your'e probably feeling pretty down at the moment, but excuse me for being objective but I think you need clear advice.

    Firstly, there are rules, procedures and laws to protect the individual from this type of behaviour. Unfortunately internal union reps are often reluctant to show wholesale support and where they do the backing they will receive from the regional office rarely improves the situation.

    Unions are geared up for public campaigns and I am afraid they are reluctant to fight individual cases due to the cost. In a nutshell they could not afford to fight every case and so they opt for the compromise solution.

    You have several options listed in terms of preference

    1) If this can be resolved by you that is always the best option. Have a look at what has been said and try to see it from their perspective. If there are any aspects of your performance that can be resolved then take it on board. However, there are clear protocols for delivering this type of feedback to you. I would suggest your HT has ignored these protocols and therefore broken not only their own procedures for NQT's and teachers but also employment laws in particular, ERA 1996, EA 2010.

    2) You should have a contact within your county programme who looks after all NQT's, they are often a useful ally. Use then that's what they are there for.

    3) approach your mentor and find out their view of events applying the above paragraph.

    4) If neither of these productive you can either tough it out or fight back. Teaching is a tough profession and unfortunately there are many that act in an un-supportive manner due to the stress they are under...its their outlet but are blind to the effects it has on other staff. Alternatively you can write a formal letter of grievance. However you must examine the above thoroughly before going to this stage. Bullying is completely unacceptable and if it continues then you must act.

    Pressure builds pre-ofsted however what you have described is frankly quite astonishing behaviour. If I can be of any further help feel free to ask.

    notsonorthernlass likes this.
  7. Monikara2

    Monikara2 New commenter

    Thank you for your help! It's been very useful. I'm going to PM you.
  8. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    The first thing I would do is to contact the Appropriate Body that is responsible for signing off the NQT assessment documents. You should have access to the name and contact details of someone at the Appropriate Body whom you can contact if you feel you are not being adequately supported through the NQT induction process.

    Are you actually getting any support? Do you have a weekly meeting with your mentor? Have you been observed yet? (The statutory requirement is that NQTs be observed once in the first four weeks and every six weeks thereafter (as a minimum requirement).) Observations should be in the main supportive and formative. Do you have a training and support programme in place? If the answer is "no" to some of these questions, please do contact the Appropriate Body yourself and get yourself some support.

    Good luck!
    snowyhead, marlin, stmha and 2 others like this.
  9. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Sorry Monikara2 what's a PM?
  10. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    It's shorthand for a private message.

    Monikara, it's worth talking to @GLsghost about this too - and/or @TheoGriff - you'll get some very good information there.
    solvacrime, marlin and ilovesooty like this.
  11. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    private message... or on here, it's under 'conversations'
    solvacrime likes this.
  12. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

  13. Monikara2

    Monikara2 New commenter

    Just wanted to thank everyone for your support and advice, I've really appreciated it during such a tough time. I've unfortunately now left the school but I do feel it was the best thing to do. Looking to join the world of supply teaching now till I can find a long term/permanent job.
  14. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    This post has left me gobsmacked, frankly. You have been in post as an NQT for four weeks. FOUR BL@@DY WEEKS. How dare the head confront you about the quality of your teaching and behaviour management. I am sure there is something in STPCD 2015 about not giving NQTs known difficult classes and I will look into this shortly.

    Incidentally, are you being given the statutory 10% NQT time allowance in which to undertake observations of more experienced colleagues?
    FolkFan likes this.
  15. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Found it - wasn't in STPCD it was in Induction for Newly Qualified Teachers (England) 2015. Doh!

    Pages 11 and 12 'A suitable post for induction:
    2.17 *not present the NQT, on a day-to-day basis, with discipline problems that are unreasonably demanding for the setting;'

    I would advise you to download a copy of the above document, perhaps even print one off and pass it to your head teacher. It's available here:

    FolkFan and stmha like this.
  16. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    These days training teachers are expected to produce 'outstanding' lessons by the end of the year, so obviously by the time they are NQT's, EVERY lesson is expected to be 'outstanding', clearly.

    The whole system is fracked!
    solvacrime and snowyhead like this.
  17. Mrskeletor

    Mrskeletor New commenter

    This sounds very familiar to my time as an NQT. My mentor was a hideous woman who hounded me, lied and accused me of very dangerous things that I could deny with evidence. I read an article a few months after my ordeal with her and recognised her as a sociopath. It was a shame, because I loved the rest of the school apart from her. Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to say that getting out of there was the best thing to do. It is, after all, a job and your health and well being should never be sacrificed. I recently moved to my third school in four years as my last HT was also an incredibly strange and unprofessional woman. I am finding the new place much better and a lot less stressful. Good luck with the job hunting!
    solvacrime likes this.

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