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Told I will fail NQT year

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by uselessleopard, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. uselessleopard

    uselessleopard New commenter

    I had a meeting today with the NQT mentor (not my subject mentor but the one in charge of all the NQTs in the school) and he told me that I have already failed my first term of NQT and he doesn't think me trying to pass this term and next term simultaneously next term is a 'viable option'. Feeling like an absolute failure tonight. My subject mentor and HoD had no idea he was about to say that to me and he even at one point said i should maybe 'consider a career outside of teaching'. I did really well in my training year and got really specific targets for improvement throughout the year but here I've been given 3 targets at the start of this half term and they were: 'planning, behaviour and marking' there was no more detail or clarification than that. He also tells me the reason I've failed is the students are not receiving high enough quality teaching but wouldn't go into any more detail. There was one point where he told me he's had 'numerous' complaints about me but refused to divulge what they were as he didn't think it would be 'helpful' to 'dig up skeletons'. Very confused by all this.

    I've spent the last few weeks living in fear as I have constant 'drop ins' from SLT to at least 1 lesson every day for 15-20 minutes. Plus I was given 400 hour long assessments to mark (I teach English) in 2 weeks and when I asked for help and said I was struggling I was told 'well, teaching is a high pressure job with long hours'.

    I've drafted out my letter of resignation based on advice from my union and the fact that I don't think I can improve enough to pass my year. I'm just a bit concerned that this is past the deadline and they may ask me to stay on until April, by which point I will have failed term 2 as well.

    Sorry for the length, any advice would be welcome.
  2. MackMc1

    MackMc1 New commenter

    Sorry to hear this.
    Most schools seem to be doing this at the moment.
    In the last year, most NQTs I have met are at risk of failing, or have been failed.
    Schools fail most in order to save money. In other words they can hire a teacher at an unqualified rate or get a new NQT in who will be cheaper than an M2.
    I have seen some excellent teachers fail in the current climate so you are definitely not alone.
    All the very best
    paz_zaz likes this.
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Firstly you do not fail the first term of induction- the assessment is whether you are currently meeting standards at this point. If not then there is a clear process the school need to follow to support you and help make the required improvements. This includes not just observations but training and development.
    Induction is 3 terms for a reason- many new teachers do take time to adjust to the profession and the requirements of working full time in a school. It can take 3 terms to achieve this .
    You seem to have made the decision that you do not want to continue. You can leave and continue the induction in another school. I have seen many NQTs with 1 or 2 terms not meeting standards who have gone on to pass the final term of induction.
    Supply work is often a useful filler and provide you with a different perspective in other schools.
    Good luck!
    Landofla likes this.
  4. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Agreed with previous posters, they can't 'fail' you at this point in the year. Your school should be giving you clear instructions and guidance on how to improve and these should be detailed, rather than the vague targets you've been set so far. It frustrates me that we as teachers are expected to give students such specific targets 'as otherwise how will they know they have met them?' yet we do this to teachers. I've seen it so many times and it's immensely frustrating. I experienced it myself too as a trainee.

    My heart goes out to you, but I urge you not to throw in the towel, rather to get some specific targets and the support to meet them. They shouldn't be monitoring you, they should be supporting you. Does your HoD share the thoughts of the NQT mentor? Can you have a conversation with him/her to put some subject specific context behind this?

  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I must disagree with englishteach101 here.

    I should point out that (a) I'm an experienced teacher and (b) I really feel for you.

    From what you've said the school has already made it's mind up and staying on will probably not be advisable. If you continue for the full year and then fail (which looks a good possibility from your post) then you'll be in a tough position, resign - do a bit of supply and then see if you can't find a more supportive environment.

    It may just be that teaching isn't for you - in which case you're more than young enough to do something else. To be honest teaching isn't much fun these days anyway. Three years ago I would have advised any aspiring teacher to give the profession a go but my honest advice now would be to do the opposite. Successive "reforms" have taken much of the genuine pleasure away and it's very tough these days. I don't enjoy it much sometimes and I'm still a pretty enthusiastic teacher.

    Good luck
  6. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    An NQT 'failing' their first term says far more about the school and the lack of support than the NQTs progress. As others have said, there is no pass/fail assessment point at the end of the first term, and if issues have been identified then the school needs to be putting an action plan in place. You need to be out of that environment and into a supportive school. Contact your training provider, they should offer you support.
  7. chriskluge

    chriskluge New commenter

  8. chriskluge

    chriskluge New commenter

    I think your first and second term can be limited progress, if things are tough but I dont think you can fail. I was told at uni in our final yr that the 3rd period of our NQT is the one where you can actually pass/fail.
  9. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I'm in a similar position @uselessleopard. My school is arrogant and useless; no mentor meetings in the first term, told in Jan I'd failed first term (I was not expecting it, neither was mentor, and they had put nothing in place to help), ambiguous reasons for failing, term 2 targets just given to me today (more than half way through term 2, and not relating to why I failed term 1, i.e. they keep moving the goal posts), plus only the couple of lesson obs the NQT coordinator has seen are taken into account (he's the one calling the shots, not my mentor or hod who seem to have no clue what's going on).

    So, along with you, I'm thinking, should I resign now (Monday is deadline), to finish for Easter? The council are aware and are trying to support me, but school ignore the advice and do their own thing anyway (after all, nothing will happen to the school, they are a law unto themselves). I am hopeful that if I fail term 2 I can get an NQT extension from the council because they know that I am not being supported and this was mentioned to me by them previously.

    My concern, and yours, is that if you're told you've failed term 1 and term 2 you cannot then trust them to pass your third term, and the outcome if you fail that one is you can never teach again.

    Have you spoken to the council? They should have come to see you if you failed term 1. If they've been no help, and you don't want to complete term 2, resign on Monday for Easter, then go to your Dr and get signed off on stress for the next four weeks.
  10. Suewan

    Suewan New commenter

    I'm not alone! This is what is happening to me and I'm thinking of resigning as well. I've had enough of the all of this. I'm no spring chicken and I've never been treated so badly in all my life.
  11. Suewan

    Suewan New commenter

    I think that is going to be my plan as well. I can't cope any more. I go to work and cry every day, as pathetic as that sounds, I don't need this stress and anxiety any more. My self esteem is in tatters.
  12. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    @Suewan It's not pathetic to cry every day, it's pathetic that they've made you feel like this! I'm in my mid 30s and I agree - I've never been treated so badly before. I'm really unsure what to do. Need the salary, but what it comes down to is this: do I believe that the deputy head will allow me to pass the year? No, I do not. He does not want me in his school.
  13. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    Every school i have been in on supply or permanently for the last five years has "failed" an NQT by Easter. in every single case, they found a different school to take a chance on them, and they all subsequently "passed" and enjoyed the new school too. With more experience, you may choose a new school that suits you better.
    Sadly many "managers" in many schools are dire. Too many of them got out of a classroom as quickly as possible then try and tell other people how to do the job that they could not do successfully for any period of time.
    If the teacher unions got tough on the requirement of managers to manage the health and safety of their employees, including their mental health, I suspect most schools would go bust under the pile of claims!
    Do your best, if they cannot help you to become a teacher go somewhere else where they are better able to do their job.
    And don't look back, they are the failures, not you!
  14. lunarita

    lunarita Lead commenter

    That this is the best piece of advice SMT can give you speaks volumes for their own unsuitablility and is probably one of the biggest problems facing teachers at the moment - that unreasonable workload and high levels of pressure are seen by management as being part and parcel of the job.

    The long hours and high pressure are a problem management should be seeking to solve.
    Jonathan1609, Suewan and dljames2013 like this.
  15. Suewan

    Suewan New commenter

    I'm nearly 50 so yes, its disgraceful. Today, I got told that they might to keep me on as an unqualified teacher. So, the same stress with no progression and considerably less money? If I wasn't the only breadwinner in my household, I'll tell them no thank you. The only plus side is that I'll have an income while I look for another job. I don't even know if I want to continue my NQT year at all at this point.
  16. Suewan

    Suewan New commenter

    My school isn't offering me that at all. They are thinking of keeping me as an "unqualified teacher"...if you ask me, it's a way of paying me less for the exact same job.
  17. docalison

    docalison New commenter

    wow, thats quite scary reading those posts! I am a "mature" NQT and feel very fortunate to have a great team helping me and supporting me all the way. They are there when i want to moan, they are really reassuring and always willing to help and are determined to make sure i achieve my NQT with a "good" outcome.
  18. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Thanks docalison for the reminder-this website will get the cases where things have not been done correctly because this prompts the postings. In the majority of schools NQT induction is an effective start to a teaching career and mentors are supportive.
  19. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    The advice you have been given is nonsense you do not lose QTS by not passing induction and the school cannot take you on as unqualified anyway- it sounds like someone's ruse to destabilise you and try and cut the salary budget at the same time.
    Read the statutory guidance and remind the school what they should be providing. You should also talk with the LA or Appropriate Body named person who is responsible for induction.
  20. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    This is why school staff should not be the ones who can assess someone's NQT standard. You could have a manager who was actually a weak teacher assessing a L7 trained teacher and failing them due to the manager's lack of understanding of pedagogy.

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