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Worried NQT!!

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by taffa1, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Hey..
    I'm an NQT who started teaching a mixed year 5 and 6 class from the October half term. I was pre-warned on interview that my school was due to have Ofsted any time, and would probably fail due to the poor SATs results over a number of years.
    Consequently, we had Ofsted 2 weeks before Christmas (approx 4 weeks after I started). We were put into special measures. As a result, my school has been paired with an outstanding "link school" and we have had several teachers, the SENCO, senior management and another Head assisting and coming in to give us guidance.
    My mentor is my Head teacher. We recently attended our first mentor-nqt meeting where I found out I was supposed to have a mini-review approximately 6 weeks after I started, (which I have not had). "NQT meetings" have varied, sometimes with support from the link school, occasionally with the Head. I have been left to my own devices frequently, as my head has had scheduled meetings with other people during this time.
    Last week I had my first official review, for my first Assessment form to be completed. My Head initially told me that he would like to grade me a B due to the amount of progress both myself and the children have made, but said that due to the number of targets, a C would be better (which I was still happy with).
    However, today I was told that my Head had sent my report to be checked by the Head of our link school, who said that due to the amount of support the school is receiving, I could only be awarded a D - which was obviously really upsetting. I questioned this against my progress, (given that I was given a Good rating in my lesson observation last week), but was told it was not due to my progress, but due to the support I had received.
    I am very worried; does this mean that if the level of support doesn't lessen enough by the time of my next review, I will be awarded another D, due to the level of support still?
    Does anyone have any advice please?
    I work extremely hard, am in school for at least 10/11 hours a day working, as well as working during the evenings and weekends, so this is obviously a massive kick in the teeth. I have also held 3 parents meetings and have now been observed 5 times since I started (I am now in week 12!) and am due to have another observation on Thursday.
    Is there any way I can fight this decision? Does this mean that whilst my school is in special measures I will not be able to have higher than a grade D because of the support given to my school?
     
  2. Hey..
    I'm an NQT who started teaching a mixed year 5 and 6 class from the October half term. I was pre-warned on interview that my school was due to have Ofsted any time, and would probably fail due to the poor SATs results over a number of years.
    Consequently, we had Ofsted 2 weeks before Christmas (approx 4 weeks after I started). We were put into special measures. As a result, my school has been paired with an outstanding "link school" and we have had several teachers, the SENCO, senior management and another Head assisting and coming in to give us guidance.
    My mentor is my Head teacher. We recently attended our first mentor-nqt meeting where I found out I was supposed to have a mini-review approximately 6 weeks after I started, (which I have not had). "NQT meetings" have varied, sometimes with support from the link school, occasionally with the Head. I have been left to my own devices frequently, as my head has had scheduled meetings with other people during this time.
    Last week I had my first official review, for my first Assessment form to be completed. My Head initially told me that he would like to grade me a B due to the amount of progress both myself and the children have made, but said that due to the number of targets, a C would be better (which I was still happy with).
    However, today I was told that my Head had sent my report to be checked by the Head of our link school, who said that due to the amount of support the school is receiving, I could only be awarded a D - which was obviously really upsetting. I questioned this against my progress, (given that I was given a Good rating in my lesson observation last week), but was told it was not due to my progress, but due to the support I had received.
    I am very worried; does this mean that if the level of support doesn't lessen enough by the time of my next review, I will be awarded another D, due to the level of support still?
    Does anyone have any advice please?
    I work extremely hard, am in school for at least 10/11 hours a day working, as well as working during the evenings and weekends, so this is obviously a massive kick in the teeth. I have also held 3 parents meetings and have now been observed 5 times since I started (I am now in week 12!) and am due to have another observation on Thursday.
    Is there any way I can fight this decision? Does this mean that whilst my school is in special measures I will not be able to have higher than a grade D because of the support given to my school?
     
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You need to contact your Union.
    Had the school been in Special Measures when the vacancy occured, they would not have been able to recruit you as NQTs are not supposed to be employed in such circumstances (too challenging). As you were employed prior to the special measures, your Induction can continue but you should not be downgraded based on the support given to the school , not on the support you get if it is nothing unusual for an NQT anywhere in their first term.
    I suspect 'ploitical' manoeuvres by the 'link' school. Your school will be expected to show improvements after sustained support fromt he link school and the link school will take a lot of credit. It is in their interests for data to show poor performances early on in the relationship and huge strides after their intervention. You getting a B or C grade early on after Special Measures doesn't give them a lot of scope for demonstrating the beneficial effects of their guidance, so they prefer to have you graded lower so that their 'value-added' will be greater!
    Teachers do it all the time with NC Levels; doing base-line assessments in Yr 7 to show lower LEVELS THAN WERE RECOREDED AT THE END OF KS2 and thus allowing more progress to be demonstrated by the end of KS! (the same from KS1 to KS2).
    Union! And keep a detailed diary of comments from your Head/mentor and others and how their gradings are being overruled. Good luck!
     
  4. Brilliant thank u - I hadn't thought about the impact on the link school before but now you've explained that, it makes a lot of sense! I am keeping a log of everything that goes on - I have spoken in confidence to another member of staff who basically thinks I'm being stitched up! I will contact my union ASAP!
    Thanks again!
     
  5. When a school goes into special measures your induction should be overseen by the LA rather than another school that is looking to support the mangement and teaching. Your progress must be judged against the standards and it should not be a variable thing that changes according to the whims of another school. The LA must ensure there is support for you and all NQTs requyire support, that does not/should not lessen any progress that is made. You progress through the induction year and terms/progreess is not graded other than being satisfactory or not (and I mean satosfactory progress not the new OFSTED definition of satisfactory!)
    Talk to the LA NQT adviser and the union abouit this, if the overall assessment is that there are no concerns over progress then that is all that is necessary - some LAs do have a grading system (1-4 or A-D etc) but there are informal and hot part of the legal induction requirements.
    You should not suffer for the shortcomings of your school that has failed its OFSTED.
    James
     
  6. Thanks James - I will email both the LA advisor and my union I think. I am just a little worried about stirring up a massive hornets nest and facing a backlash if I kick up too much of a fuss. Do you know if my headteacher is still able to be my mentor etc if we are in special measures? Somebody told me that he shouldn't still be overseeing my induction but I don't know where if that is true or not. Due to be a rather small school, it can sometimes be difficult to talk to more ecperienced teachers in confidence.
     
  7. If your head has a lot on then being your induction tutor may not be easy. In general the advice is that the head should not be an induction tutor, but in small schools it can be unavoidable. Talk to the LA adviser and get advice.
    James
     

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