Good induction helps you to feel at home, to fit in, to make sure you know all the routines and procedures and to understand the values, objectives and purposes of the organisation you join.
What you should know right from the start
Before you start, you should know:
- the name of your induction tutor
- the timetabling of lessons and support arrangements
- a schedule of your formal assessment meetings
- school policies covering health and safety and equal opportunities
- your entitlements to pay during sickness and other absences
- other relevant policies including arrangements for cover, child protection, pupil behaviour
- the nature of the contract of employment, a list of duties and management arrangements.
NQs should take responsibility for their own professional development as the induction support programme progresses. Induction should:
- provide a programme of monitoring, guidance and support that is tailored to individual needs and will help you meet the requirements for the satisfactory completion of induction
- involve the headteacher or induction tutor in discussions around your starting point of strengths and areas of development, which result in short-, medium- and long-term objectives relating to identified individual needs, the specific school context and the requirements for the satisfactory completion of induction
- involve regular reviews of progress
- develop your skills of self-evaluation and provide a sound foundation for your professional development targets.
As part of the induction support programme, your headteacher has a duty to make arrangements so you're not required to teach for more than 90% of a normal timetable. You are also entitled to 10% non-contact time for planning, preparation and assessment.
The support you should expect
Your induction programme should be designed to support you to become an effective and successful teacher. You should expect to have:
- support from a designated induction tutor
- observations of your teaching and follow-up discussions
- professional reviews of your progress
- opportunities to observe other experienced teachers
- other targeted professional development activities.
- These have been shown to help NQs make a smooth transition into teaching, and they should all be available to you in your school.
As a teacher, you have statutory conditions of employment set out in the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document, this includes your responsibilities during induction.
The guidance says you're expected to:
- participate fully in the programme of monitoring, support and assessment as agreed with your induction tutor
- be familiar with the Teachers' Standards and monitor your own progress in relation to them
- take increasing responsibility for your own professional development.
- It's important that you show you're involved and interested in your further development as a teacher. Engage in the programme of monitoring, support and assessment, and consider how you can show evidence that you are doing so.
Raising your concerns
You have a responsibility to express and raise any concerns you have about the quality of the content and delivery of your induction programme. There is explicit provision for you to do so both at school level and with the named contact at the appropriate body.
Currently one of the Teachers' Standards requires that each NQ can show a commitment to improving their practice through appropriate professional development. This emphasis on taking responsibility for your own professional development is a key element in the expectations of teachers as professionals.
Although it is here tied to the statutory requirements for induction, it is implied that you should:
- care about your own professional growth and development
- have objectives and plan for the professional skills you need now and in the future to do your job well
- have expectations that the organisation you work for will facilitate and enhance your professional development, and demonstrate a positive attitude to your professional future in teaching.
You should also:
- make yourself familiar with the Teachers' Standards at the start of your induction period so you know what is expected of you
- participate fully in planning your programme of monitoring, support, assessment and development activities, and in revising your objectives
- be prepared to evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses so that you can set your priorities for your professional development.
- This means that it is important for you to make time for reflecting on your own work, and to identify aspects of the standards where you have not yet had opportunities to develop, for example, by offering suitable objectives for your professional development.
- However, it is also accepted that you may need support to understand whether you are achieving the standards, and your induction tutor should be able to tell you at your professional review meetings whether your self-evaluation is accurate or wide of the mark.
The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document states that "teachers serving induction periods under the Induction Regulations [must] not teach for more than 90% of the time a teacher at that school who does not receive payments in respect of additional duties or responsibilities would be expected to teach".
You are, therefore, not expected to take on a full teaching load.
During induction, you should have a reduced timetable representing no more than 90% of the normal average contact time of experienced teachers at your school, and in addition you should receive the 10% non-timetabled time for PPA that all teachers are entitled to.
The 10% remission for induction reasons should be used for professional development, monitoring and assessment activities. It should not be used to cover absent colleagues. Nor should it be used simply as non-contact time – it should form part of a coherent induction programme.
The time does not necessarily have to be distributed equally on a week-by-week basis. Your headteacher may distribute the induction release time in whatever way is most appropriate to your needs and those of the school. However, the release time should not be accumulated just to give you block release later in the term or year, leaving you with a full timetable for long periods. Some release time should be allocated on a weekly basis.