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NQT - Do I need to leave?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Grantcobbs, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Grantcobbs

    Grantcobbs New commenter


    So I'm currently in my NQT year. I haven't passed my first term (or I didn't meet the standards, not quite sure on the terminology). We're now halfway through the second term.

    I've been told that from my head's and mentor's point of view I am not making progress quickly enough. They say that for them there is a big question mark over whether I will pass the summer term.

    What has been said to me is that "I need to be very sure that I can make the changes and address my shortcomings in the summer term. If I'm not sure then I need to give serious consideration to leaving at Easter". I asked for my head's frank opinion and they said that if they were me they would leave, do supply for a little while, improve what needs improving, and then try again.

    My opinion is that I am already working very hard. I work weekends and evenings. I don't feel as if I have that extra capacity to make changes. I feel that if I were going into this last term full of beans I could do it. But right now I am thoroughly worn down.

    I am also aware that there are people out of this school on sick leave with stress. The demands are very high. In particular the marking requirements are strenuous. That is one main thing I am falling down on.

    To be fair I have received support, although that is held against me. I'm often reminded about the support I get and guilted about it. My year group partner and myself do have a tough relationship, not really one person's fault, it hasn'y helped.

    Finally, I think that the narrative is set. In the summer term I would be having to change minds rather than make them.

    Sorry for the long post. They seem ok for me to buckle up and stay. I'm not sure what they are going to say about this current term. I do think things have been going ok but I certainly see the areas for improvement.

    Some advice I have got has been:

    Go on sick leave now (which I don't really think I can do - It's just not me, I'm not sick), get this term written off and leave with two terms to do.

    Stay until halfway through summer term and then use the union to get the school to not count the final term if it doesn't go well. Leave with one term to do.

    Leave at easter. Having the one term to do.

    Ideally I would like to stay until Easter but not have this spring term counted so I could leave with two terms.

    Any thoughts? What would you do?
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Same happened to me a couple of years ago.

    In reality they won't let you fail - they'll tell you a couple of weeks before the end of term, so you can quit immediately to save yourself. But that would leave 1 term remaining, and your confidence completely shot, plus your stress extended.

    If you arrange to leave at Easter then this current term should become an interim term, which means you'll have 2 remaining. This is better, because when you get your next job you'll have 1 term to get into the swing of things before the final term begins.

    I know it's painful right now, but if that school isn't for you that won't change by summer.

    I recovered, so can you.
    peter12171 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    do you really want to do this for the next 40 years?
    BTBAM and Shedman like this.
  4. Grantcobbs

    Grantcobbs New commenter

    Thanks very much. I have heard this and it is what I want to say to the school but I can't seem to find this written down anywhere. Is it definitly true? If I arrange to leave at Easter and stay till then the term will be written off even though I was in school for the entirety of it.
  5. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Contact the named person at your LA who is in charge of induction - your school should have given you their contact details, or you can google them. They can confirm what will happen. It was the case for me, and should be the same for you, although I suppose that some LAs are different.
  6. ateacher2018

    ateacher2018 New commenter

    I just went through a very similar situation. I handed my notice in the Monday before half term thinking I'd stay till Easter but I was allowed to leave on the Friday. I had half term and the week after off and now I've just started doing short term supply to carry on my NQT year.

    Leaving was the scariest thing I've ever done but since I left about 3 weeks ago I'm the happiest I've been in a long time. Keep your union and external mentor informed of what you choose to do.

    Just know your not alone in your situation as I'm fresh out of it. Please message me if you want to, as I know I benefited from talking to someone.
    blueskydreaming and JohnJCazorla like this.
  7. Grantcobbs

    Grantcobbs New commenter

    If you're happy then that's the main thing. Were you able to leave with two terms to do or how did that work? How's the supply thing going?
  8. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    If you don't complete the entire term (the poster left at half-term) then it doesn't count towards induction.

    You know, you could ask your school to release you ASAP instead of Easter. They don't have to agree, but if they think you won't pass they may be happy to.
  9. ateacher2018

    ateacher2018 New commenter

    Yes I was happy to leave with 2 terms remaining as I knew the school wasn't the right one for me and the head was making my life very difficult.

    Supply is great so far. Really enjoying going into different schools which are actually nice and have time for you!
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  10. Grantcobbs

    Grantcobbs New commenter

    Ok so I have got the named person at the local authority telling me that there is no way for me to leave at Easter with two terms remaining. Even though both parties, myself and the school, have thrown in the hat on the nqt year, if I stay till Easter it will count as a nqt term so I would leave with just one term to do.

    I can't find anything in writing online to contradict this except posts on this forum. Any advice?
  11. ateacher2018

    ateacher2018 New commenter

    I'm not entirely sure sorry but having one term left isn't a bad thing.

    Would you consider doing supply and then when you find the right school for you carry on your NQT year?

    Sorry I can't be of more help
    purplecarrot likes this.
  12. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    When an NQT leaves a post after completing one term or more in an institution but before the next formal assessment would be required, the headteacher/principal should complete an interim assessment. This should take place before the NQT leaves their post in order to ensure that the NQT’s progress and performance since the last assessment are captured. This is especially important where concerns about progress may have arisen. The information recorded on the interim assessment form will help to ensure that induction can be continued effectively in any subsequent post. This is also required if the NQT leaves during their final term of induction.


    Ask to leave before Easter.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Oh dear. This sort of thing seems to be all too common in the UK these days. Having taught in the UK, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, the UAE, Qatar, China and now Bulgaria, I think that teaching overseas is a lot more enjoyable and less stressful than teaching in the UK. Sometimes I wonder whether there will be any teachers left in the UK at all. I have been teaching overseas for more than twenty years and I feel very sorry for teachers in the UK who have so many problems and colleagues going off sick with depression and all kinds of stress-related illnesses.
    flyuplife and pepper5 like this.
  14. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    This sounds like you and the school are a poor fit and rather than fail you your NQT, the school are trying to give you a way out.

    If you leave at Easter then you'll leave with 1 term remaining. Long term supply (vs day to day) could be a good way of getting a feel for multiple schools and help you to work on some areas.

    The main thing is whatever you choose to do, you put your health and wellbeing first.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    Try to keep heart, I went through a really tough time with induction and the first two years (I stuck it out and should have left) were hell. When I finally left without a job to go to my confidence was shot, I was convinced I'd leave teaching, I was so low. I did supply essentially as a way to pay my rent while I reconsidered careers, found I was actually quite good at teaching, got a terms sick slave cover supply. Then started looking for a longer term post. I actually did two days supply in the school I ended up in before I applied so I had a few for the place and knew that while it was a tough catchment, it had a warm vibe. I ended up with 4 job offers (just the way it worked out, I had a week of interviews!) And picked the one I felt was the best fit. I spent 6 years very happily at the school and loved my job. I left to move overseas several years ago although not because I hated my job, because I wanted an adventure.

    So things can and do get better, if you think you actually enjoy teaching it's worth ditching the school and trying again.
    pepper5 and SundaeTrifle like this.
  16. Tannenbaum

    Tannenbaum New commenter

    I can't be of any help with advise but find myself j a very similar situation. You put into words exactly what I am feeling.
    I've always wanted to make it until summer, but don't seem to be making much progress still and find myself increasingly worn down by the sheer pressure and amount of work of it all. Still trying to come up with a plan though.

    How have things been? Any update on leaving before Easter or will it be after?
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Schools are very different, as is the quality of person designated to help you through the training. There are many shockingly bad schools.

    Leave immediately, give it another go in a different school with different people and if it is still too tough to pass, then look for another career.
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. steveshortland25

    steveshortland25 New commenter

    Dont give up - There is always light at the end of the tunnel.
    I went through the same. I was told by my mentor to consider whether teaching was for me shortly before getting the LA involved. the Head was happy to release me early to preserve 2 terms at another school - if thats what I wanted.
    I left with no confidence, questioning whether I wanted to stay in teaching. Did some supply all over the county and LOVED IT! It was by chance I ended back at a school I had worked previously as a cover supervisor and finished my induction there in a subject that I was a non specialist and received some amazing observations. I have now decided to move on from this school after 2 years looking for a new challenge but without a doubt I could have seen myself very happy there for 20+ years if I didnt want progression.
    Not everyone fits every school. I found that out the hard way. But... if you made it through your training - you can make it through your NQT year. Stick with it and find somewhere you enjoy to work. Not a day goes by where I consider how lucky i have been and still enjoy going to work.:)
    pepper5 likes this.
  19. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I’d be out of the school like a shot. The truth is it’s all contextual. I’ve move to another school.

    Superb school led behaviour management. Strong SOWs in place. Well recruited and staffed teaching force. And you fly along. So who is it that is really to blame?

    Schools have to stop burning off new entrants into the profession by using the NQT year to increase the SSR to match the budget.
    blueskydreaming likes this.

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