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Pausing NQT Year

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Ecm27, May 18, 2016.

  1. Ecm27

    Ecm27 New commenter

    Hello everyone

    I would really appreciate some advice.

    I made good progress in my first term of NQT. At Christmas I fell into depression due to personal issues. I struggled through term two with support but in the end did not make satisfactory progress in report two. Since Easter I have been on a reduced timetable (GP recommended) and with a supportive action plan from school. Despite having lots of support and a very kind head / SLT who clearly do want me to pass (not like some of the horror stories on this board! :-( ), it is becoming increasingly clear that I won't pass, because of the extent of my MH issues.

    What is the best thing for me to do? I don't want to fail but I feel I am not mentally well enough to complete my NQT at present. I can't be a good teacher when I barely recognise myself.

    It has been suggested (by induction mentor) that I resign and complete NQT elsewhere - am I likely to find another position? Is it possible to take a year out and go back again later? I am considering a year out doing LSA work in an Sen school or something similar, to give myself a chance to recover. Also because I don't think i am suited to mainsteam ed (I teach secondary science).

    Any advice much appreciated. At the moment I am feeling very frightened and would like reassurance that resigning does not equal failing NQT.
  2. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    You can go back to complete your NQT year after a break. I have had to work in three schools since qualifying but have yet to complete (as a result of a variety of reasons). You can do supply to tide you over, although it does have its issues (see the supply section here), but there is a time limit on that.

    I'm sure @welshwizard and @John_in_Luton will be able to tell you more.
  3. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    the current regime for NQTs is completely insane. I would never have survived it! So keep at it, I have personally worked with 5 who have been failed and then thrived at a variety of different school.
    But if you are straight out of university, there might be other ways into teaching ebaring in mind you have approximately 50 working years to fill!
  4. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Good, sound advice - I've nothing to add other than endorsing this, your case is far from unique and many succeed at the second attempt. Your plan of working in a special school is feasible, and it is also possible to complete your NQT year in such a setting.
    Ecm27 likes this.
  5. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Do not resign until you take further advice.
    One option the Appropriate Body has is to extend the induction year- this should have been discussed with you once the issues arose. Contact the named person at the AB urgently
    Also seek your Union advice.
    See above for further information on induction
  6. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    To add! In cases where there are medical issues an extension is usually automatically applied to the induction period
    Ecm27 likes this.
  7. Ecm27

    Ecm27 New commenter

    Thanks for replies. I have spoken to my Union and they laid out the options. It has been discussed that I would need an extension, as I am now over absence limit. Who is my appropriate body?
  8. littledragon25

    littledragon25 New commenter

    If it is any help, my friend had similar problems on her NQT year back in 2013. She started off well in her school, but then her mental health issues (which the school was aware of before she started) flared up and she had to leave. She had completed one term, and the school kindly let her leave mid-way through the Spring term because it had gotten too hard for her to cope.

    She left teaching for 2-3 months to sort her head out before starting at a new school in the summer term. She completed her 2nd term of NQT induction at this school, who had offered her a permanent contract. However, a family bereavement in May 2014 resulted in her mental health deteriorating again, and she decided to take a full year out of teaching. She left the profession again, having completed 2 terms of her NQT at 2 different schools.

    She took a year out working in administration before moving to a new part of the country, where the NQT induction is different and her 2 completed terms didn't align with 2 completed terms in this new area (Wales vs England). She started another new school in September 2015, having negotiated doing an extra few weeks on it to bring her initial 2 terms up to time, and a 0.8 contract to help her cope due to her mental health issues. She finally completed it around February/March this year.

    So it isn't impossible to pause an NQT year due to mental health issues, but it is important to talk to the schools you apply to in advance about any issues, because often they can be really helpful and offer support in regards to your individual needs.
    Ecm27 likes this.
  9. Ecm27

    Ecm27 New commenter

    Thank you for sharing this. I'm getting the sense that my situation is not particularly unusual. It's just the fear of the Unknown I'm struggling with!
  10. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Your AB is the body that your assessment reports are sent to, usually a Local Authority or possibly a Teaching School, though it's a little worrying that you haven't been made aware of who this is. Ask your mentor where you are registered as an NQT.

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