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Is it normal for an NQT to be on a fixed term contract?
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nervousnelly8 · 12/02/2021 13:17

Hi all

New to this board. DH is in the final stages of his degree with integrated teacher training and has just been offered a job for September. It will be his NQT year. The offer letter has come through and it states that the offer is for a fixed term 1-year contract with the possibility of a permanent position being made available subject to performance. This wasn't mentioned at interview. Wondering if this is standard practice? Any help much appreciated!

Thanks

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CarrieBlue · 12/02/2021 14:53

Very standard these days. Actually, it was what I was offered 23 years ago at interview but I asked for permanent due to the distance I would have to move. I got permanent because I taught (and still teach) an extreme shortage subject, so they have struggled without me. That was before NQT year had to be passed though so now there’s the potential to fail the year temporary contracts are pretty common.

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MrsHamlet · 12/02/2021 16:46

Yes. However, induction will be two years from September so he should ask whether they are going to register him for his induction.

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nervousnelly8 · 12/02/2021 17:49

Thank you both.
@MrsHamlet if he starts his induction period at the new school and then for whatever reason his contract is not renewed after the first year, can he continue the induction at another school? If induction is 2 years, should he ask for a 2 year fixed term contract?

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MrsHamlet · 12/02/2021 17:53

That should be the case, yes. He could ask and see what they say.

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Scarby9 · 12/02/2021 18:13

Only one of our ITT trainees last year was given a 'permanent' contract for September. Most should be kept on if a) they have proved themselves and work well with the staff team and b) there is a vacancy. Some were covering maternity leave so there may not be a space for them next year.
It has become more and more common for schools to do this so that they have a secure fallback if the trainee doesn't cope as an NQT in that school. Last year it was almost universal in our area since the NQTs had their placements cut short in May so they were less well-prepared than usual.
This year's training has obviously also been disrupted with bubbles bursting, self-isolation periods and lockdown as well as difficulties with observations etc.

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nervousnelly8 · 12/02/2021 18:24

Thank you both, that is really helpful. DH has had a very disrupted year of training and much less classroom time than would be normal, so he is expecting next year to be a steep learning curve. Neither of us knew though whether the fixed term contract was standard, something specific to the school, or reflective of their thoughts on him!

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singsingbluesilver · 12/02/2021 18:41

Yes it seems to be the norm, and I do feel sorry for NQTs who have to accept this. It makes it very difficult for anyone who has to relocate or who wants to get a mortgage.

It was not the norm years ago - schools trusted the uni references and their own judgment made on the basis of their interview and sample lesson. I have even seen NQTs who have done a lengthy teaching practice in that school offered this. Most unfair - they should be well aware of what the NQT has to offer at that point.

I think that some heads live in a parallel universe and always think there is some amazing super teacher out there who they might be able to appoint in a year's time. I have seen posts filled by a series of people on one year contracts - even when it is clear year after year that there are just no better candidates out there. Such a waste of time having to keep advertising and interviewing for the same post on an annual basis.

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MrsHamlet · 12/02/2021 18:55

It can also be for legitimate reasons. I have 3 NQTs this year and one is fixed term because she's covering a maternity. We've also had fixed terms before when we know that a course won't continue to run.

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Scarby9 · 12/02/2021 20:08

I agree that it is especially unfair on trainees who are appointed in their placement school off the back of a successful placement. One of ours was 'the best trainee I have ever seen and everyone loves her,' according to the HT, 'better than several of my existing staff...' Still only given a one year contract.

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nervousnelly8 · 12/02/2021 20:15

@singsingbluesilver so will he have to reapply for the role next year and do another lesson etc and have it be advertised externally again? Or will they be able to offer him a permanent role without having to readvertise if they want to? Sorry, I'm clueless on how this works!

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Fameinaframe · 12/02/2021 20:24

I am a nqt and on a permanent contract!
I realise I'm extremely lucky as this doesn't seem to be the norm! But like in my case it does happen!!

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MrsHamlet · 12/02/2021 21:38

They don't have to advertise again (or at all in fact)

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Subordinateclause · 13/02/2021 02:43

Very much the norm for many teaching jobs, NQT or not. Once I had to reinterview, even though it was clear the job had been advertised internally for me alone, and once I was just made permanent when I mentioned it to the head - I think he had forgotten I was fixed term!

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singsingbluesilver · 13/02/2021 07:36

No, if they decide to keep him on after the first year he will not have to reapply.

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singsingbluesilver · 13/02/2021 07:40

I have only heard a couple of times of teaching posts for non NQTs only being offered for a year - unless it was very specifically a short term thing eg maternity cover.

Why would someone give up a permanent post they already have to move schools and gamble on a short term contract becoming permanent? Only someone utterly desperate to get out of their current job would do that.

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PumpkinPie2016 · 13/02/2021 08:15

It does appear to be common these days. Hopefully, your DH will settle there and be offered a permanent contract after year 1.

The NQT I am mentoring this year is permanent so it's definitely not unheard of. I am pleased he is because he's fab. Plus, if he wasn't permanent, we'd risk losing him - he uses public transport and it takes about 1hour 15 each way so he would likely look closer to home. As it is, he is looking to move closer to school as he has settled and knows he has a job next year.

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missbunnyrabbit · 13/02/2021 12:17

I'm an RQT in the same school I was an NQT in. Both this year and last year I have been on a one year temporary contract. I had to reinterview for the second year.

It really sucks and is very anxiety inducing not knowing whether you have a job for next year.

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Tailrunner · 13/02/2021 13:57

I did my NQT year on a fixed term contract which was even more complicated because I was part time so it wouldn't cover my full NQT year. Then in Feb/Mar I started asking whether it would be renewed as I needed to apply for other jobs if not but couldn't get an answer or make an appointment with the head. It was quite stressful but luckily I asked my HOD if I could put his name down as a referee. He asked why I was applying and when I explained he got it sorted within 48 hours and I was put onto a permanent contract so don't be afraid to push for an answer.

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SparklyOnTheInside · 17/02/2021 12:22

My NQT was fixed term, then I moved for my RQT in another school and another fixed term, 1 year.

During my RQT they advertised for a permanent teacher and I applied and was interviewed (including an observed lesson) and got it.

So now on my second school, I have a permanent contract. I think it depends on the school, but most seem to want to try before they buy.. or rather try before they appoint permanently. I

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