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Negotiating early release
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frogandlogs · 31/12/2020 11:57

To cut a long story short, I am an NQT and during the last week of term before we broke up for the holidays I was informed I was going to have my formal observation as part of my induction. My HT was going to observe me too but it wasn't discussed with me why this needed to happen.

The observation feedback was delayed until the next day so I carried on as normal, even going as far as planning for the next term with my mentor. The following day I am pulled into the HT office with my mentor. I then listened to several sides of A4 feedback which detailed my starter, lesson and classroom to be horrendous. Those were the words used!

Upto this point I had no feedback about my practice, little support in terms of meetings with a mentor and I was completely blindsided by the whole thing. My HT said I need to consider whether this is the school for me because if I stay I will fail my NQT as my practice currently stands.

Obviously I have contacted the union since then and intend to seek early release. Has anybody had experience in doing this? What is the likelihood of this being granted? I am incredibly anxious about the whole thing I don't want to stay at the school longer that I have to. My whole holiday has been me worrying about this and I am just looking for advice, and if anybody has had to go through a similar process.

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Kitkat05 · 31/12/2020 12:36

Hi OP. I hope someone comes a long with good advice. I thought you could pause NQT. Look into that and pause it. Ask them if you could leave early. If not resign by the 13th Feb and leave for April.

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Scarby9 · 31/12/2020 12:53

Am I correct in extrapolating from your post that you have not had mentor meetings and observations or any feedback before this joint observation with the HT then a cataloguing of your failings?
Do you know who your 'appropriate body' is for your NQT year? Could you contact them directly or ask to meet with them via the school?
In the end, if the school wants you out they can make life unpleasant enough for you to leave, but I would at the very least want them to acknowledge their failings in support of an NQT they took on.

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MrsHamlet · 31/12/2020 13:14

You absolutely cannot fail induction on the basis of one lesson observation. You must speak to the appropriate body about this because the school are not fulfilling their end of the bargain.
Don't resign until you've spoken to the AB and your union. They may have someone with oversight of NQTs.

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picklespark · 31/12/2020 18:55

Hi. I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I’m glad you are in a union - in my experience once this starts, the best thing is to get out fast. It’s not worth the impact on your mental health. This happened to me as an NQT, but I was able to restart my NQT year after doing some supply in another school. That was nearly 7 years ago and I’ve done very well since then, by the way. You can’t fail NQT until 3rd term so you can take this term with you and restart the second one in another school.

You need the union involved ASAP, they should be able to attend the meetings for you if you can’t face the management. The school will likely want to let you go quickly and quietly with a settlement agreement- you waive your right to a tribunal and cannot talk about it in exchange for an agreed reference. You should be able to have input into your reference and see it, the union will help with this.

Take care of yourself and if you really cannot face going back in, your doctor can sign you off with stress and you can consult with the union about next steps.

And remember, this is NOT about you. This is about your school and their failure to support you. I am sure you will thrive in the right school. PM me if you need to talk or want to know anything else and I’ll do my best.

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partystress · 31/12/2020 19:18

You should have had an observation later no before the last week of term. Observations are essential for helping t work out which areas you might need help with. Th school has let you down and perhaps that’s why they have handled the feedback so insensitively.

Your induction tutor should meet with you ASAP when you go back and agree with you how you will be supported to improve and when your next observations will be. They should focus on seeing whether you have made progress.

Have you had an assessment report for your first term? Failing doesn’t happen until the end of the year.

As well as your union, the appropriate body you are registered with should be able to offer advice. This will probably be your local authority or teaching school.

Please don’t make any snap decisions before getting advice.

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partystress · 31/12/2020 19:19

Sorry, meant to preview. Should have had your first obs long BEFORE...

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MrsHamlet · 31/12/2020 19:28

I observed all of my NQTs in weeks 3 and 4, and again about three weeks before the end of the year.
There really shouldn't be any surprises.

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frogandlogs · 31/12/2020 21:12

Hi everybody and thank you for all of the replies,

The first half term I had weekly meetings with a seperate teacher not my mentor. These stopped taking place in Autumn 2.

Until my formal observation the only observations I had were ten minute 'drop ins' and no feedback to these was given. My first and only feedback (even though I have it in writing that I requested it) was the meeting in the last week of term, when I was all but asked to leave.

I have contacted the union over the break, I can't go to my AB as the individual who runs that is a governor for my school and they are very closely tied to the school.

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frogandlogs · 31/12/2020 21:18

I should add that my assessment paperwork had not been completed at the time I had feedback. They had their notes which they relayed to me, said that they had very high expectations and I wasn't meeting them. My HT asked me to consider whether this school is right for me, because if I stay I would not pass my NQT year as it stands. Not without a serious change in practice, as I am failing that many of the standards. However, they didn't detail which ones.

I've been given no targets over the course of my first term. I'm struggling to understand why I should stay and try and jump through all of their hoops when the HT has threatened to fail me completely? Not once during the term was it brought up that I wasn't meeting the standards. No support was given.

I have contacted the union. I just don't think it's tenable I stay, they clearly do not want me around and even if I agree to a support plan I feel like they won't pass me in the end anyway.

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MrsHamlet · 31/12/2020 22:13

It's not about staying to pass, but I do think you need to make sure that the paperwork is all complete - even if it does say that you're not on track to pass.
An appropriate body should have more than one person involved and they are the ones who make the recommendation to NCTL.

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MrsHamlet · 31/12/2020 22:18

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/923070/Statutory_Induction_Guidance_2019.pdf
It sounds to me as though your school has failed to meet 2.37 to 2.40. 4.1 then comes into play.
Are you the only NQT in your school?

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picklespark · 01/01/2021 23:06

@MrsHamlet

It's not about staying to pass, but I do think you need to make sure that the paperwork is all complete - even if it does say that you're not on track to pass.
An appropriate body should have more than one person involved and they are the ones who make the recommendation to NCTL.

This is correct but the union will also help OP with this - they can contact the appropriate body and make sure things are above board. In these kind of situations you should not act with union support backing you. The regional rep will likely have a relationship with the appropriate body already.

Hang in there, OP. This doesn't mean the end of your career. You have 2 more terms to pass and would be able to start term 2 in a different school if an early release is negotiated.
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picklespark · 01/01/2021 23:07

That should say you should not act WITHOUT union support backing you, not with face palm

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frogandlogs · 02/01/2021 20:29

@picklespark I have already contacted my union and they are on my side regarding this. I wouldn't have done anything without them on my side because I would get nowhere fast.

Thank you for the supportive messages. I've been feeling really anxious about the whole thing, and with how the coronavirus situation is changing. I just feel guilty about leaving my class and school even though I know it is for the best.

I am really really hoping early release can be negotiated.

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