Frequently Asked Questions

 
   

How do I apply for vacancies in Wigan?

Teaching vacancies are advertised in a weekly bulletin which appears on the website  www.wiganmbc,gov.uk.
Schools will indicate if these are suitable for NQTs, but if in doubt do contact the individual school for more details.


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Do schools advertise vacancies in the press? 

Schools advertise vacancies in the Times Educational Supplement and occasionally in local newspapers.


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What should I include in my letter of application?

 Make sure that you cover all the criteria listed in the job advertisement, but also give details of your experience on teaching placements and your educational philosophy. It should be well presented, easy to follow and points need to be expressed succinctly.


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Do I apply to the school directly?

Yes, applications should be sent to the contact person in the advertisement, usually the Headteacher or Chair of Governors. It would be useful to research the school on the schools online site and perhaps to look at their latest Ofsted report. It may also be possible to visit the school.


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If you have been shortlisted for interview what do you do?

 If you have been shortlisted for interview, the headteacher will contact you to ask if you would like to attend an interview for the teaching position.  You can confirm your attendance of the interview by telephone unless informed otherwise. This is an opportunity for you to ask for further information about the position.


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What if I am unable to attend the interview?

You should let the school know as soon as possible, if it is because of circumstances beyond your control you may liaise with the headteacher to see if an alternative date can be arranged.  If it is because you have already accepted another position you should let the headteacher know this.


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What constitutes 80% teaching load?

You should receive 10% non-contact time as an NQT in addition to 10% PPA time. PPA time should be shown clearly in your weekly/ fortnightly timetable and must be in blocks of at least 30 minutes. However, many schools will try to give PPA in longer sessions e.g. half a day. Your non-contact time as an NQT will be of similar length.  It is possible for the NQT non-contact time to be blocked, for example, a day every two weeks. However the school provides this time for you, it should not be a collection of short sessions, for example, during assemblies.


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I have not been given a reduced timetable because my school cannot afford to give me this extra time. Is this OK?

Absolutely not! Your school will have been given additional funding specifically for the induction of NQTs.  If this is what you have been told, contact the named person at your LEA as soon as possible. Not having a reduced timetable has serious implications for your chances of successfully completing the induction period; if your school cannot give you induction time, how is it going to afford non-contact time for your induction tutor, who will need it to observe and support you? Remember there are no second attempts at induction. This needs to be sorted out without delay. You should have no more than an 80% teaching timetable – this includes your 10% PPA time, which is a statutory part of a teacher’s contract.


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My school doesn’t seem to have an induction programme set up. Does this matter?

Your induction into your new job and the profession generally is vitally important. You should be receiving extensive support and training to ensure that you pass your induction year. If you are not receiving a formal induction this will have implications for your future in the profession and you should contact the named person at your LEA as soon as possible. It would also be a good idea to document your concerns for future reference. Talk to your induction tutor/mentor and your tutor from your initial teacher training provider for more ideas about improving your situation. Do not let this go on. Your school has a statutory responsibility to provide the support that will give you the best possible opportunity to pass your induction year.

Please note: You can only commence your induction period if you have secured a teaching position that lasts for a term or longer


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Do I have a choice about who my Induction tutor is?

Not really as the school will need to make this decision in the light of staff responsibilities and skills. In practice, it is essential that you and your induction tutor get on well together.


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How often should I be observed?

The legal minimum is twice a term, but many schools are increasing their use of lesson observation for a variety of reasons and, hopefully, you may find you are observed more frequently. As a general rule, you should have as many opportunities to observe others teaching as you do to be observed. In all cases of observation notes and feedback should be exchanged.


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How long does induction last if I am part time?

The equivalent of one year full time. So if you are employed for 0.5, the induction will last two years. In this case, the formal review meetings will be termly rather than half- termly, and the assessment meetings will be at the end of every two terms, not one. This spreading out of your induction programme also applies to the other elements, for example, observations, although it is possible to arrange for most of your support to take place in the first year.


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I have been assigned a mentor but not an induction tutor. Does this matter?

There is not any consistency in schools over the use of the terms ‘induction tutor’ and ‘mentor’. Many use them interchangeably and to a great extent, it really does not matter what name is given to the role. As an NQT, you are entitled to have a single person with responsibility for getting you through the induction period and for supporting you through your transition from training to employment. As long as you know who this person is, there should not be a problem. You may also have several colleagues who take on the role of professional ‘buddy’ or mentor. If you are still unsure whether your entitlements are being met, contact the named person with responsibilities for NQTs at your LEA.


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How do I work with other adults in my classroom?

In Wigan there is a clearly defined career structure for teaching assistants and, depending upon the level of the member of support staff, you will be able to work with them to support you with pupils’ learning. Your mentor should provide details of the profiles for the different levels of teaching assistants. There should be a clear policy for the use of volunteers in school and again your mentor should have details of this.


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How will I find out about the level and role of the teaching assistant in my classroom?

You must make sure that you are introduced to teaching assistants who will be working with you and discuss with them how best you can utilise their skills. Some may be supporting individual children who have special needs or they may provide more general support for all yourl children in the class.


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Do I have an entitlement to attend externally arranged NQT Induction training?

This is at your school's discretion. Some schools, especially those with large numbers of NQTs, offer in-house training. However, past NQTs have frequently commented on the value of meeting others from outside their school, and getting a more global view of their profession.  If you are interested in any Continuing Professional Development opportunities, you should approach your Induction Tutor in the first instant.


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 I am a newly qualified teacher (NQT). Can I work in a school, which is in special measures?

Usually, NQTs are disallowed from working in schools in special measures. The rational for this is that NQTs need support from a mentor during their induction year, which a school in special measures would not be able to provide.

However, NQT’s can work in schools with special measures, if the school has been judged to be able to provide the induction supervision and training needed by OFSTED.  The school will have been informed in writing if they are suitable to provide the programme.


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I am coming to the end of my induction year and wonder if I should be looking to change schools to broaden my experience.

There is no law stating that teachers must keep moving from school to school, otherwise their experience will be severely limited, but it is worth thinking about the benefits of not teaching at the same school for years and years. A consolidation period of two or three years is perfectly acceptable and advisable in many cases, especially if you are happy in your school. Beyond that you may want to start thinking about promotion and additional responsibilities and, unless there are openings at your school, you will have to move on. Comfortable as it may seem to stay put, the simple fact that it is a different institution will mean that you will broaden your experiences. The decision is yours.


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I want to move schools before the end of my induction period. Is this possible?

If you possibly can, get through the first year in the same school to give you a good chance of passing the induction period. Once this is completed successfully, you are free to move without risking complicating this important time. If there is no alternative but to move, your new school will have to pick up where your old school left off (providing you leave after one or two terms). Your original headteacher must retain all the documentation relating to your induction so that it can be passed on to your new headteacher.  You will need to complete your Induction within 5 years of starting at your first school.

Please note the GTC  will also have your records however they do not pass the information onto the next school, it is up to the next authority and the NQT. 


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A pupil/parent has made a complaint about me. What should l do?

This can happen so don’t feel inadequate in any way, unless there really is cause for complaint about your actions. The usual explanation is a misunderstanding and a skilful headteacher will be able to discern this and resolve the situation with no ill feeling. As soon as you are told of the complaint, take some time to jot down exactly what you perceive the situation to be. You should be given the opportunity to relate your interpretation of events to an impartial listener. You may want to discuss the issue with your induction tutor/mentor first. If your headteacher does have cause to talk about your conduct, you’re not the first new teacher and certainly won’t be the last that this has happened to. There is a great deal to become familiar with in the first few years of teaching and you should treat such a pep talk as a learning experience - one that may even enable you to become a better teacher. If you feel disgruntled, talk to your headteacher - he/she should be able to explain the situation to your satisfaction.


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My head of department seems to be making unfair demands of me.

This  complaint is one that can be easily remedied. First, keep a record of the expectations that have been made of you for future reference. It would also be a good idea to talk to other NQTs at your school to find out what their experiences are, and of course, talk to your induction tutor/mentor. This will help you to gain some perspective on the situation, as it can be easy to feel ‘put upon’. Next, employ some skills of assertion! Explain to your head of department that you feel that if you take anything else on at the moment you will not be performing your tasks to adequate standards. You feel the need to consolidate what you have to do and focus on fewer tasks. If this doesn’t help to relieve the pressure on you, talk to your induction tutor/mentor or a trusted colleague to see if they will take up your case for you.

Please note: the GTC induction guidance states that a NQT should be given a job description that doesn’t make unreasonable demands.


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One particular child is making my lessons a misery. How can I deal with this?

Whatever the age of the child, talking to them and explaining what it is about their behaviour (not personality) that you find unacceptable is always a good place to start. You need to establish clear expectations of the child and even clearer consequences for misbehaviour. Discuss with the child the rewards and sanctions you have in mind (and every opportunity for praise must be taken) and arrange a trial period of a week, after which you will have another talk.  It would be a good idea to talk to your induction tutor/mentor or head of department about your difficulties and the ways that you are attempting to resolve them. There will be established systems in your school for dealing with such situations that you will be expected to use with suitable guidance. Teachers who also teach or have taught the child will be a good source of support too. Never underestimate the effectiveness of being honest with children about their behaviour and your disappointment. As part of the school’s policy the parents may be contacted – via the appropriate line manager eg head of department/Induction mentor.


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I have been working as a short-term supply teacher for 4 terms and have been unable to secure a long term position, what can I do?

After the 4 terms of short-term supply work is over, NQT’s cannot work in a maintained school or non-maintained special school unless it is for one term or longer and therefore, your induction can be undertaken.  If this is not the case, you will need to write to your LEA for an extension.  The LEA will assess your situation case-by-case, and will extend your entitlement to short-term supply work if there are exceptional circumstances, which has prevented you from securing a long-term position.  The LEA will confirm it’s decision in writing, the maximum your short-term supply work can be extended is 12 months and this is at the discretion of the LEA.


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