The DfE recently announced the long awaited changes to the induction period for newly qualified teachers, with their aim of reducing bureaucracy in schools and improving teacher training and development. This will create greater flexibility for NQTs working in a labour market that isn't exactly brimming with job opportunities.
Induction is an important bridge between training and practice that supports newly qualified teachers to build their effectiveness and improve their teaching. It also provides an important quality assurance measure for schools, pupils and parents. The school landscape is constantly changing with a rapid increase in the number of primary and secondary academies and the development of a national network of teaching schools leading more school-based initial teacher training.
What are the main changes to Induction for NQTs
- enabling the new network of teaching schools to act in the role of appropriate body to quality assure induction processes
- extending the 16 month limit on short term supply work, to a maximum fixed 5 year period from the point of award of QTS, before having to undertake induction
- giving appropriate bodies flexibility to reduce the length of the induction period in certain circumstances to a minimum of one term in recognition of previous teaching experience
- enabling all settings (permitted within primary legislation) to offer statutory induction provided they meet the required conditions including pupil referral units (PRUs).
The DfE are retaining:
- the requirement for a 10% reduced timetable
- the ‘one chance to pass induction’ rule.
- When will this affect NQTs and will the changes take place?
Changes to induction arrangements will apply to maintained schools in England and to independent schools including academies and Free Schools and other settings that wish to provide statutory induction for their Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs). These will also apply to organisations that carry out the role of appropriate body. The changes will come into effect from September 2012. The DfE intend to publish revised statutory guidance in summer 2011/12.
What does this mean if an NQT is starting their induction before September 2012?
The current arrangements will remain in place until August 2012. NQTs whose induction period continues from 1 September 2012 will be subject to the new arrangements.
Many people will be asking what the real incentive is for NQTs to get a permanent job if they are getting paid to scale through an agency. Many agencies like Hays, Celsian Education and Aspire People offer NQTs training throughout the year. Whilst the government has provided NQTs with greater flexibility it may have also provided an excuse for some NQTs who might "never really get round to starting my induction." Whilst these updates provide greater freedom to NQTs it is clear that some recruitment agencies may also take advantage of the increased flexibility and the cheaper level of pay compared to qualified teachers. If an NQT hasn't passed their induction then it is crucial they continue to learn off others, maintain their CPD and attend as much training as possible. Anyone doing supply need to look for a recruitment agency that will encourage you to do this aim to get NQTs started on their induction within 16 months as before.