Newly qualified teachers being denied their rights

Too many newly qualified teachers are being denied their statutory rights and entitlements during their induction year, a conference organised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has heard.

Newly qualified teachers from across the country gathered in Birmingham today (Saturday) for the NASUWT’s Newly Qualified Teacher Seminar to discuss the challenges facing them as new teachers and to engage in professional development workshops.

A real-time electronic poll of newly qualified teachers attending the seminar found that:

  • Over a third were not in receipt of the full 10% reduction in teaching time they are entitled to during their induction year;
  • Nearly a quarter said they were rarely or never provided with adequate support and guidance from their induction mentor. One in ten had not even been provided with a named mentor;
  • Over half said the purpose and objectives of lesson observations are never or rarely agreed with them in advance;
  • Over a third say they can rarely or never access appropriate external professional development;
  • Excessive workload was the biggest problem experienced during the induction year, followed by a lack of support to deal with poor pupil behaviour.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the conference, said:

“If the enthusiasm and energy which newly qualified teachers bring to the profession is to be effectively harnessed for the benefit of pupils, it is vitally important that they are provided with the statutory entitlements during their induction year which will enable them to fully develop their skills and knowledge.

“Many newly qualified teachers are positive about the support they receive during their induction year but unfortunately, as the findings from today’s conference show, far too many are being denied their statutory rights.

“If newly qualified teachers are being denied the opportunity to get high-quality support from a mentor, access a reduced teaching timetable and professional development opportunities and get appropriate support on managing pupil behaviour, then they cannot make a confident and effective start to their careers.

“Teaching is a highly skilled, complex and challenging job for which high-quality training should be a pre-requisite.

“Schools should view newly qualified teachers as a precious resource and ensure they are provided with the support to ensure their talents are not squandered.”

Notes to editors

The Newly Qualified Teachers Seminar is a termly event which forms part of the package of ongoing support and guidance offered to new teachers by the NASUWT throughout their induction year.