NQT and class working on project look to camera, smiling.

3 Ways To Support and Retain High Quality NQTs

Acting on behalf of the LA as the Appropriate Body, Services For Education see a variety of approaches to supporting NQTs.

We also see the direct correlation between the quality of development and nurture during the initial years of a teacher’s career, and the retention levels of these new members of staff.

There are a number of constant factors which outline good practice.

1. Honesty

NQTs who have had honest discussions with their mentors have a realistic understanding of their progress and are effectively challenged throughout the induction process.

Concerns can be addressed in a timely manner and this also gives your NQTs the best opportunity to move from good to outstanding.

2. Triangulation

Judgement of your NQT meeting the standards should come from a breadth of evidence bases.

Lesson observations, book trawls and pupil conferencing give an immediate picture.

Data on pupil progress and feedback from the variety of colleagues who have supported the NQT (SENDCo, assessment lead, pastoral team etc.) will demonstrate consistency and impact.

It is important to reference this when writing termly assessments.

3. Documentation

Ensure that NQTs and any other relevant parties sign and counter-sign evidence of meetings, agreed action plans or next steps etc.

This doesn’t seem important when things are going well but unfortunately relationships can change.

If the Appropriate Body or professional associations become involved, this will give you crucial evidence of points agreed and help them to establish a true picture of the circumstances in order to move forward with integrity, but only if both signatures are there.


There is much excellent practice in supporting and developing NQTs.

In recognition of seeing best practice, the Early Career Development Quality Mark was developed to recognise schools who nurture and challenge their NQTs and RQTs.

In the demanding context that schools face in recruiting and retaining good quality staff, this award can set you apart from the competition.

Click here if you would like to become one of the growing number of schools and academies celebrating their excellent practice or would like more information.

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