'Beyond Transition' - Supporting our Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)
The ‘transition phase’ between initial teacher training and being an NQT is a critical one that needs additional support.
The Carnegie School of Education continues to support NQTs through their induction and support is also available for those still seeking teaching employment. It is our responsibility to help our trainees thrive.
So far through their journey, NQTs will have experienced the rewards of being instrumental in the progress made by children and young people, demonstrating why teaching is the one of the best and most satisfying of the professions. However, there will also be that growing realisation of the intense demands and challenges of teaching. This blog highlights some of the support mechanisms available to NQTs through the Carnegie School of Education in their quest towards becoming outstanding teachers.
Support for the NQTs is listed in our Leeds Beckett NQT Charter which includes:
- The NQT support web page that contains information about support mechanisms, resources, CPD and blogs from NQTs
- The NQT annual conference. Each year, the Carnegie School of Education delivers a conference specifically tailored to meet the CPD needs of our NQTs. The conference includes workshops and lectures offering excellent CPD led by guest speakers and experts in the education field. The next NQT conference will be held on 8th February 2019
- A transition document file outlining progression and identifying strengths and areas for development during the NQT induction year
- A tailor made 20 credit Masters Level module ‘Reflecting on Professional Practice’ which is geared towards the Teachers’ Standards for NQTs and is also offered to RQTs
- A full programme offered at Masters level study
- Continued support offered from NQT Coordinator and personal tutors
- Free CPD opportunities throughout the year
- Webinars and recordings on areas of educational interest and development
As an NQT, the feeling of being one of the only adults in a room for much of your day and a figure of authority for so many young people at such an early stage in the career is a daunting prospect. What is it really like to have responsibility for a class and supporting adults, on a day-to-day basis and to be accountable for pupil progress and wellbeing?
Such a prospect could be likened to stabilisers being removed from a push bike: The expectation is not for you ride un-aided and without support, straight away, but rather to engage with the support that stabilisers provide until you feel ready!
The ‘Induction for newly qualified teachers’ guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) states that, during induction, performance will be measured against the relevant standards to ensure a satisfactory outcome. It also highlights that the right support and tools need to be given to NQTs to meet their professional development needs, so that ultimately, they become effective and successful teachers. We believe that the support listed in the above Charter will steer our NQTs towards becoming effective and successful teachers.
To support the induction process, every NQT from Carnegie School of Education is in possession of the ‘Transition folder’. Through their engagement with the folder which acts as a working document, trainees reflect on each teaching standard. The process enables NQTs to set SMART targets in readiness for induction. It instils confidence in them and generates a sense of achievement – they feel ready to engage in professional conversations with their NQT mentors in school. We are very keen to train ‘reflective practitioners’ for the teaching profession – the transition folder provides clear evidence of reflection and progression. Transitions folders have been received well by both, trainees and mentors in school.
Further support towards achieving the Standards at a higher level is offered to NQTs through the NQT 20 credit distance learning module at Master’s level – ‘Reflecting on Professional Practice’ which is offered to NQTs and RQTs from Leeds Beckett University and partners. The module focuses on the Teachers standards and engages NQTs in research informed teaching. Upon completion, NQTs have progressed on to doing the full Master’s degree with us.
We consider it important to reach out to our NQTs wherever they are. The Leeds Beckett NQT/RQT web page is designed as a support mechanism for this purpose. It acts as a source of information and a resource bank and provides room to celebrate the work of NQTs.
Communication with NQTs and their employers is a key element of support. The dedicated NQT coordinators role means the university is keep up to date with just what challenges are affecting new teachers and give help and advice before any situation escalates and new teachers are lost to the profession. Supporting NQTs will ensure they flourish as outstanding teachers beyond their induction.