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2 February 2007
Newly qualified and recently qualified teachers across the UK are being asked to take part in a survey of their induction year experiences. The Professional Association of Teachers (PAT), which is carrying out the survey, is particularly interested in comparing the experiences of NQTs in Scotland – where probationary teaches have a guaranteed one-year training place – and those in England and Wales, who don’t have a guaranteed place.
Alison Johnston, PAT's Principal Professional Officer (Education), who is leading the survey team, said: “A compulsory period of induction has to be completed in order to work in maintained schools (or non-maintained special schools) in England and Wales. There’s no time limit after achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by which NQTs have to start their induction, but we advise them to try to complete the support programme as soon as possible after being awarded QTS, so they can build on the skills and experience gained during training.
“However, many NQTs in England and Wales tell us that this is easier said than done. We know that some NQTs have difficulty in finding a suitable position that will support the induction period, despite getting in touch with the local authority or supply agency.
“This issue was debated at our 2006 Annual Conference (“Conference calls on the Governments of England and Wales to follow the good example of Scotland and guarantee an induction year for all students who complete initial teacher training”) and this inspired PAT’s Education Committee to conduct the research project.”
The aims of the project are to:
compare accessibility for NQTs in England, Wales and Scotland to appropriate employment for completion of the compulsory induction period;
assess the potential benefits of a guaranteed induction period; and
publicise the research to interested organisations, in particular the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), National Assembly for Wales and the General Teaching Councils of England, Scotland and Wales.
PAT is asking NQTs and those who have completed their induction period in the last five years to respond to its questionnaire, which can be completed online or downloaded from the PAT Web site (www.pat.org.uk). All NQTs, not just PAT members, are encouraged to participate and those who work alongside NQTs are asked to draw their attention to the project.
A copy of the questionnaire is being circulated to all PAT members in England, Wales and Scotland through the PAT journal, and all NQT members will also receive a dedicated mailing. The views of other relevant professionals, including head teachers, are also being sought.
The closing date for the project is 1 March 2007 and the Association hopes to publish its findings in the early summer.
Teachers wishing to tell PAT more about their experiences can e-mail email@example.com.