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working in an 'inadequate' school?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by 18bekah, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. I am about to graduate as a Primary NQT however feel my career path is in teaching soley Mathematics. I have seen a job advertised in a middle school as a maths teacher, which would be perfect for me, however the school has recently had an ofsted in Feb 2011 and were deemed 'inadequate'. As an NQT, do you think it is career suicide to undertake my induction year in an inadequate school, or if I am determined and willing enough do you think it could be a very positive move for me?

    Rebecca
     
  2. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    I would never willingly move to a school that has been judged 'inadequate' or 'unsatisfactory', unless there are reasons for it that you can pick up from either staff who work there, or by previous reports. A secondary school near me went from good/outstanding to unsatisfactory in two years thank to a lazy and incompetent head. But it has now been graded good - anyone who knew the school could have told you its story.

    I would take a job over no job, but even so, the job is exhausting enough. I would struggle if I didn't feel that everything I am doing is effective, which has been my sense before working in a failing school

    Good luck, and ask about the school...
     
  3. purrrrrfect44

    purrrrrfect44 New commenter

    I started my NQT year this past September so have just finished my second term. When I started, the schools last OFSTED report was good with outstanding features, two months ago we had a visit from OFSTED and the school was given un satisfactory and as a result has been put into special measures. On hearing the judgement the staff, parents and I were shocked - I never expected it to fail, nor did I think I would ever work in a un-satisfactory school.
    /p/ But that is where is negatives stop, the parents are extremely supportive - especially to me as im an NQT and they know I was as shocked as they are, I have also had parents come to me and say they aren't worried about their child in my class because they know Im new blood in the school and the report was focussed on the lack of pupil attainment (which I have not had a lot of chance to impact). The school is undergoing great improvement, we have changed planning, assessment, marking etc - and from my perspective I enjoy taking on the challenge and the feeling that the school is taking big strides to improve. The atmosphere has greatly improved in the school, and we have a much increased budget which is another plus. Yes we will be re inspected more often, but this in my eyes only serves to improve the school further and as an NQT you are used to observations anyway.
    /p/ In relation to your situation it is entirely up to you, I think my approach has helped (im very positive, too much so at times), so I haven't yet felt too stressed or felt that we are in a no win situation which I know some people may feel. I spoke to the LA adviser once I knew the situation and he explained that while it would be intense it would be a great experience for an NQT because of all the additional CPD training, support from outstanding schools and closer scrutinity to ensure best practice.
    /p/ Im sure other people will have different perspectives, some much more negative, but I wanted to give you my positive experience to let you know it isn't all as bad as it seems.
     
  4. purrrrrfect44

    purrrrrfect44 New commenter

    My paragraphs didn't work,
    sorry I will have one more attempt.
     
  5. I worked in a failing school and it was absolutely soul destroying. Add to that the sheer exhaustion on a daily basis and it made for a very unhappy me! You try your best, slog your guts out but you will constantly be told that what you are doing isn't good enough. Everything is under constant scrutiny and lots of hours have to be put in to meet the standard of planning expected.
    If you have a really tough skin and go in with your eyes wide open then it could be a very good experience. I know from mine that it has prepared me for anything teaching has to throw at me. However, some colleagues were not so lucky and were signed off with stress and/or depression from the pressure.
     
  6. purrrrrfect44

    purrrrrfect44 New commenter

    I started my NQT year this past September so have just finished my second term. When I started, the schools last OFSTED report was good with outstanding features, two months ago we had a visit from OFSTED and the school was given un satisfactory and as a result has been put into special measures. On hearing the judgement the staff, parents and I were shocked - I never expected it to fail, nor did I think I would ever work in a un-satisfactory school.
    But that is where is negatives stop, the parents are extremely supportive - especially to me as im an NQT and they know I was as shocked as they are, I have also had parents come to me and say they aren't worried about their child in my class because they know Im new blood in the school and the report was focussed on the lack of pupil attainment (which I have not had a lot of chance to impact). The school is undergoing great improvement, we have changed planning, assessment, marking etc - and from my perspective I enjoy taking on the challenge and the feeling that the school is taking big strides to improve. The atmosphere has greatly improved in the school, and we have a much increased budget which is another plus. Yes we will be re inspected more often, but this in my eyes only serves to improve the school further and as an NQT you are used to observations anyway.
    In relation to your situation it is entirely up to you, I think my approach has helped (im very positive, too much so at times), so I haven't yet felt too stressed or felt that we are in a no win situation which I know some people may feel. I spoke to the LA adviser once I knew the situation and he explained that while it would be intense it would be a great experience for an NQT because of all the additional CPD training, support from outstanding schools and closer scrutinity to ensure best practice.
    Im sure other people will have different perspectives, some much more negative, but I wanted to give you my positive experience to let you know it isn't all as bad as it seems.
     
  7. Be aware that if the school is in special measures (OP didn't say) then it is not an establishment that you can complete your NQT induction in.
     
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    As Waterfin says you need to check that you CAN apply as an NQT. Schools in SM cannot appoint NQTs, not sure about 'notice to improve' schools.

    That aside find out what the weaknesses are. I left a school a few years ago that went into SM shortly after due to a total lack of leadership, the HT had been off sick for the best part of three years. It was still a fab school to work in day to day.

    And I have to say, if I lived in a LA with middle schools I'd be still happily enjoying teaching in one. Middle school maths is what I've done for most of my career and it was fabulous. (Primary now due to relocation) Hope you do get to apply, get the job and have a career there half as good as mine was.
     
  9. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    What an incredible story - and one that shows an exception to prove the rule, I think!
     
  10. Thank you very much for your positive reply! I think I would be very willing to take on a challange. I have just read that the NQT year cannot be completed in a school in special measures, I presume this was different for you as you began at the job prior to SM being placed on the school. I will have to speak to the head and ask them if that is the situation...?! but thankyou again for your reply.
     
  11. The ofsted report didnt say special meaures, just 'notice to improve' and on the job advertisement they are saying NQTs welcome, so i presume not in SM yet...?!
     
  12. Thank you everyone who has replied to this post as long as the school is not in special measures which I presume it is not as they are welcoming applications from NQTs, I have decided to apply for the position. so fingers crossed I get the job and it all works out!
     
  13. Just to confirm - a school on special measures cannot employ NQTs unless they gain permission from OFSTED. Not even the LA can agree this, OFSTED must be happy that the school can provide full support during induction to grant permission. A school on notice to improve is not on SM so can employ NQTs.
    James
     

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