Coronavirus: QTS and NQTs
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Trainee teachers will still qualify
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that trainee teachers who miss out on their full complement of school training hours because of school closures will still qualify as teachers.
According to the TES, Mr Williamson said he would be prepared to waive normal requirements to gain Qualified Teachers Status for trainees. He told Sky News, “We will be working with teacher training establishments in order to do this.”
He added that the government would be “starting to roll out some of the Early Career Framework in a number of regions, which will be starting in the next academic year and right across the country the following year, to make sure new teachers are supported.”
What are Local Authorities doing and how will it practically work?
We are waiting for official guidance from the Department of Education (DfE) and Teaching and Regulation Agency (TRA) to be published. We will update this article when it is made available.
We are aware that Local Authorities are interpreting existing guidance for NQTs on ‘exceptional circumstances’.
In response to concerns regarding the disruption of Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) statutory induction in the event of Coronavirus causing extended NQT absence and school closures, please see the following advice from Leicestershire County Council.
Leicestershire County Council
Leicestershire explains the length of the induction period should ordinarily be three full terms of the institution in which induction is begun, based on a school year of three terms (i.e the full-time equivalent of one school year). Absences up to and including 29 are permitted. If absences exceed a total period of 30 days or more, induction is extended by the aggregate total of days absent, allowing NQTs to finish their induction programmes as well as sufficient time to demonstrate satisfactorily meeting the Teachers’ Standards.
Note that the appropriate body has the option, with the consent of the teacher concerned, to reduce the induction period which the teacher is required to serve to a minimum of one school term if they are satisfied that the teacher has satisfactorily met the Teachers’ Standards. The appropriate body should make this decision in agreement with the NQT.
We’ve written another article on the expectations of the Teachers’ Standards here.
The DfE continues to monitor the situation and will provide further advice in due course.
Leicestershire networks with a number of local authorities (acting as the Appropriate Body for NQT Induction) and offers the following supplementary guidance:
The Appropriate Body has the discretion to reduce the induction period. (Induction for Newly Qualified Teachers (Induction for Newly Qualified Teachers (England) Statutory Guidance for Appropriate Bodies, Headteachers, School Staff And Governing Bodies Revised April 2018 – Paragraph 3.2-3.5)
The Appropriate Body will invite school NQT induction coordinators to consider which, if any, of the current NQTs (due to complete at the end of the summer 2020) are assessed to be consistently meeting the Teachers’ Standards and for whom they would like to request a reduced induction. The tutors would then seek the agreement of their headteachers. The tutors would then seek the agreement of the NQTs.
When the tutors, headteachers and NQT(s) agree, the school should request a reduction(s)– stating that all three parties have reached agreement.
The Appropriate Body will consider the requests and respond accordingly.
The Appropriate Body will then review the final assessment and process as usual.
- Should the tutors, headteachers and individual NQTs agree that it would be in the interests of the NQT to serve a full induction period (three terms), the NQT induction will be rolled over into the next academic year.
Please note that the LA is aware of a small number of NQTs for whom this may be appropriate.
Where the NQT is on a short term contract and there is no job within the current school for any subsequent terms, it will be possible to continue induction in a new school.
It may be challenging for an NQT to demonstrate that they meet the standards in a new school, if the NQT has only one term of induction to complete. In these circumstances, it will be possible to grant an extension to the induction year.
Essex County Council
Essex County Council Appropriate Body will consider all days of enforced absence due to school closure as part of the induction period. It is likely that teachers will be required to work from home by setting work and providing feedback by email or online learning platforms or undertaking other school-related tasks. It may therefore be possible for evidence to continue to accumulate to support judgements in relation to the teachers’ standards.
NQT assessment meetings may take place over the phone/internet and all assessment forms can be completed remotely. Therefore, school closures will not impact on the timing of the completion of the NQT Induction period.
It has been advised that the TRA has said that the current situation constitutes ‘exceptional circumstances’ within the terms of paragraph 2.28 of the Statutory Guidance on Induction which means that the Appropriate Body has the option, with the consent of the teacher concerned, to reduce the induction period (normally 3 terms if working full-time which us equivalent to 195 days) if the teacher has satisfactorily met the Teachers’ Standards.
The Appropriate Body should make this decision in agreement with the NQT and after advice from the school that they consider the standards to have been met. If an NQT is at risk of not meeting the Teachers’ Standards by the end of their induction period, and they have been affected either by school closures and/or illness, the NQT will be entitled to an extension of their induction period, in line with the Statutory Guidance on exceptional circumstances, to ensure that the NQT has additional time to demonstrate satisfactorily meeting the Teachers’ Standards.
If you are an induction tutor or mentor and have an NQT who you feel may be unable to satisfactorily meet the standards by the end of this academic year, whether because school closures will impact on the extent to which support can be provided or because there are areas where further evidence from classroom practice is needed, please contact the LA.
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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.