Schools are naturally nurturing places.
We know this, of course, but do we take time to stop and think and pride ourselves in how we extend this nurture and development to our colleagues, as well as to the children in our care?
One of the most satisfying ways in which we can develop our fellow teachers is by supporting NQTs through their induction programme.
The guidance they get, through those early and most exciting days of a career in teaching, can shape a teacher’s outlook entirely.
Do you give them the permission to take exciting risks? How do you build stamina, confidence and resilience? How do you ensure that the work is done but that an acceptable work life balance is maintained…and that’s before we have even considered enabling the NQT to plan and teach well sequenced lessons and ensure good outcomes for the children in their class!
Baby steps… here you can find our top tips for supporting an NQT in the very early days of their appointment, or even for whilst you are considering if this is right for your school at this point in time.
Committing to a NQT’s one and only chance at their induction year is a big decision.
It is also an immensely rewarding one, which can bring a breath of fresh air to your school. By getting the basics in place, you will have the correct systems to enable your NQT to flourish, or you will be able to quickly spot when things are going wrong.
1. Don’t see having an NQT as the cheaper option for staffing!
NQTs require support even when things are going well but this can quickly escalate if there are issues with their induction.
2. Appoint an Induction Tutor for your NQT
This is a great role to develop an existing member of staff, but you must ensure that they are qualified with QTS, have suitable interpersonal skills and crucially, have the capacity to carry out the role properly.
3. Registration with an Appropriate Body is mandatory
They will oversee and support your induction process as well as being a point of contact for queries and concerns. NQT registration must be done promptly (within the 1st week of a new term ideally) if you want to keep your NQT’s induction start and finish dates in line with their cohort.
To register your NQTs with SFE follow this link. https://www.servicesforeducation.co.uk/nqt-support/
4. Ask your NQT for their targets which were set at the end of their ITT
They may be a useful starting point.
5. Be firm but fair in setting ground rules and expectations from the start
Welcome your NQT to the your school team and tell them how you intend to commit to them and support them through induction, but also set your expectations with regards to professional behaviours and school life.
6. Put the weekly meeting on repeat in your Google or Office 365 Calendar
Ensure that they happen and don’t turn into a catching up in the corridor. Induction Guidance says that tutors and NQTs should meet ‘regularly’; we recommend this is done weekly in order to keep a tight track of your NQT’s progress and needs.
7. Consider who will provide the essential basics of training
For instance safeguarding or behaviour management. Get your NQT booked on to the relevant courses for these or arrange people within your MAT to come in during their 1st term NQT 10% release time. You may also need to book new induction tutors onto training to ensure confidence in the whole process.
Getting the basics and good procedures in place, as well as ensuring that the NQT Induction Guidance is followed, is crucial to giving your NQT the best chance at showing how they are meeting the Teachers’ Standards.
Good systems and regular contact with the NQT will also direct your thoughts if it is not a smooth journey. And don’t forget that there is support out there for you too; don’t be afraid to call in the experts as a second voice when things go wrong.
Your Appropriate Body’s role is to oversee, support and guide you and, if all are like us then there will be little that they haven’t come across before and they will be happy to guide you through this wonderful year at the beginning of a teaching career, in which you will so instrumental for setting the tone and success.
If you’d like more information, support or guidance on supporting your NQTs, visit our NQT Support webpage where you will find resources, advice and training courses for both you and your NQTs.
Or feel free to contact us via email as firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 0121 366 9950.
- Services For Education Blog – Advice for Schools
- Free Podcast: How To Support and Retain High Quality NQTs
- Digital Resources For NQTs
- Induction for newly qualified teachers
- The Education (Induction Arrangements for School Teachers) (England) Regulations 2012
About the Author: Helen Grundy – School Support Adviser, NQT and Early Career Development
Helen qualified with a first class honours degree in English and Education Studies in 1998. A significant amount of her degree was spent studying in Amsterdam under the Hogeschool Holland, adding a TESOL element to her degree and enabling study and understanding of international approaches to education. Helen’s teaching career then took place across Staffordshire in infant, first and primary schools, taking on various roles in subject leadership, as SENCo and SLT, and achieving the NCTL Leadership Pathways award.
Noted successful practice resulted in Helen becoming a Leading Maths Teacher, supporting colleagues across the county. This became a role which she increasingly enjoyed and led naturally a role in consultancy and advising.
Helen joined Services for Education in 2015 as an Education Adviser. Her role was primarily as a Maths Adviser however since joining the company has also become manager of the highly successful Health for Life in Primary Schools programme, NQT Manager as part of the LA approved Appropriate Body for NQT Induction and a member of the Statutory Assessment team.