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Any Teachers out there? I need some advice..

My hubby to be is a Primary NQT and has gone through two terms with good and satisfactory in his observations and his school seemed pleased with him.

Last week of this term the head (who he gets on with) saw his class go a bit mad as she walked past and told him 'is you behaviour managment good enough to pass?'. Then last day before term he had an obs by his mentor (dep head) and was given 'satisfactory with elements of good...especialy his new improved Behaviour management'. He is then told by mentor that he is on borderline of being hired next year and she doesnt know if hes right for it and the LEA have been called do do an obsrv.

Upset he went to the head who told him hes a fantastic teacher but he needs to pull his socks up and they all want him to pass.

I and he too are confused, his class are exceeding their levels already just seems to be Behaviour which he is even better at now. His school is expecting OFSTED this term and they are in a deprived area on borderline special measures. The head is in a first year as a head and the Dep head (his mentor) is a cause for concern herself which may have something to do with it?

What advice could u give?I havent told anyone else as hes too ashamed to let me. Can NQTs quit their last term and do their last NQT term somewhere else?

Please help image (sorry that was long)


  • Is he in a union? I would speak to them if so for advice. Also perhaps speak to the NQT advisor himself as they will be very supportive, no authority likes to fail NQTs as it doesnt look good. If he can sort it he should stay and finish hsi induction there but if needs be, he could get a temp contract for the final term but this would mean a gap in his salary.
  • Hi,

    First of all, do not be ashamed. If his children are already exceeding the levels set, he should be bloody proud. Behaviour management is hard but he has obviously put strategies in place for them to be commented on in his last ob. Was he previously picked up on behaviour management, or is this the first he has heard of it? I expect the impending Ofsted is putting extra strain on the head and deputy. Is behaviour a problem at his school? If so it might be mentioned on the SEF (self evaluation form) and if so Ofsted will use this to inform areas they will look at when in school.

    Unfortunately, I believe it is to late for him to hand in his notice to leave this term. If I were him, i would sit it out, it's only 12 weeks till summer holidays. He could hand in is notice the end of May (before half term) to leave at the end of the summer and find a new school for september.

    I think your husband should be proud of his achievements. If he needs extra advice, maybe contact his union.
  • Just seen, that 'they are thinking of hiring him next year', they obviously believe he is going to pass his NQT year, so don't worry.
  • MrsKBiggsMrsKBiggs Posts: 715
    My concern here would be that he seems to be having observations left, right and centre! I am an NQT mentor at the moment, and unless they've previously mentioned his behaviour management to him IN WRITING (i.e. as lesson feedback) then they really have no right to be questioning his ability to pass purely based on this element alone. I (as a recent NQT) was crap in my first year, and I've not really seen an NQT whose behaviour management is strong - it all comes with experience.

    It seems like the mentor (dep head) and the head are given mixed messages, and tbh, unless they thought he was failing, they LEA would not be getting involved, OFSTED or not. The fact that the school is verging on special measures is an issue for the whole staff to address, not just one.

    He needs to speak to the head and deputy together, as soon as possible next week, to get a direct answer about any issues they or the LEA have (either personal or whole school). If there are personal issues with your H2b, they should be addressed in his termly objectives (again, based on lesson feedback). I was bullied by my head in my NQT year, and while this isn't the same, your H2b is not being very well supported. I could ramble for ages on here about it, but if you (or your H2b) want, email me any questions, and I'd be happy to help.

    He can't quit his last term anyway, so put that idea away! xx
  • It is too late to resign for next term now, so if he wanted to leave to avoid a fil he would have to come to an agreement with the head.

    To be honest, it is extremely unlikely to get that far. In order to fail him the school would have been expected to flag up concerns previously and show that they have put in measures to help him meet his areas for improvement. If they have not done this they are likely to pass him.

    Requesting an LEA observation is no bad thing for your H2B. If he is good then he will have more evidence to prove this as well as having something to put on his cv.

    So, the good news is, he is extremely unlikely to fail.

    Reading between the lines of what you have said. I would think your husband is an ok teacher (really should be getting goods in all observations by now hopefully with some areas that are outstanding), who is not brilliant at behaviousr management. He needs to have his class under control at all times - definitely when walking around the school (when he can be observed by others). The head's advice seems fair - 'pull his socks up'. Be consistent with behaviour mnt. Set clear expectations of behaviour and stick to them, ensure the children are clear about sanctions for bad behaviour as well as praise for good behaviour. Enforce them both consistently (this is where a lot of NQTs fall down). A lot of NQTs with behaviour management issues tend to fail dues to wanting to be 'friends' with the children - be seen as the cool teacher. The children quickly suss this out and start to play up. If this is the case, he should start back after Easter with a clear message that he is there to teach and not take any 'silliness'. He can soften up later once he has their (and the rest of the staff's) respect.

    It might seem confusing to you that he can be called a good teacher but also be told he needs to improve his behaviour mnt. This is really not that uncommon. We often get in NQTs who have the ability to teach, plan lessons and assess but fail on that essential area of behaviour management.

    AS far as the mentor is concerned, not great that she is a cause for concern herself. He could ask for a change in mentor (perfectly acceptable to do so), this can be sensitive so it would depend on his relationship with her.

    He should also ask to observe her teach and also others who are noted in the school for their excellent behaviour management strategies. He should be able to use his NQT/PPA time for this. At least this may give him a clear idea of what they are looking for.

    The NQT year is a tough one,particularly in a school that is facing special measures, I wish him every success.
  • In the time I have taken to write this you have been offered several pieces of good adviceimage

    All the best.
  • Also, if you husband wants to talk to other NQTs and NQT mentors, the TES website has a fab forum - similar to this one.
  • VelvetishVelvetish Posts: 266

    Thankyou so much for the advice guys! Didnt ealise how many lovely teachers were on the forum. image

    He has never had anything in writing about Behaviour Management and it was only the last term it came up out of the blue and his Behaviour management is already getting good and has never been an issue in any obersvation.

    The school is in a very tough area with lots of EAL pupils. It has had very bad issues over the last few years and is now improving. His mentor has hardly given support except for the observations (she also has another nqt under her belt who agrees). I have also felt that his mentor has been reprimanded and has pulled her own socks up.

    His head thinks he will pass and is very positive so i wonder if theyve called outside LEA to make sure?
  • MrsKBiggsMrsKBiggs Posts: 715
    Firstly, i do not agree that an NQT 'should' be getting good in all areas, and some outstanding, for lesson obs. We are talking about someone who has been doing this for 8 months now, so let's be realistic, they have got to have something more to aim for in the future. Satisfactory is as it is; you are doing just fine. That is nothing to panic about, especially if the kids are meeting or exceeding targets.

    Secondly, it is not common practice to bring the LEA in to observe anyone, let alone an NQT. If the head has doubts, then naturally, they could observe your H2b personally (not nice, but necessary). It just seems like the Head and deputy are not being entirely straight with your H2b over all this, and I think it wouldn't hurt for him to contact his union. I have used my union in the past and they were great. They will meet with your H2b and the head to get it all out in the open, clearly.

    Before this i would encourage H2b to speak with his senior management team personally. They owe it to him to explain why they are doing this.
  • You have been given great advice image

    I am teaching at a school that has just had Ofsted through and it is a really stressful time and we were put under alot of pressure from our Head and Senior management. Ofsted are there only for such a short time and they only have time to get a glimpse of each teacher and their classes, so our head cracked down on everything so that the brief look that Ofsted would get would be the best one possible. That also meant that they went around the school looking for possible problems or issues that could arise, it didn't matter if it was an experienced teacher or not.

    It sounds like they are just tightening everything up and making sure he passes also.

    They would be more formal in terms of paper work if there was a large chance of failure.

    Good luck and hope the new term goes well image
  • VelvetishVelvetish Posts: 266

    Ive told him to talk to both of them so we will see...hes mainly angry at his mentor for not saying anything and for being so downhearted about it.

    All the staff that work with him (2 are senior management) think that he is doing well and have offered to state this to anyone.

    It just worries me because hes always been so passionate about teaching and the school (despite his class having 2 major behavioural problem children and 2 children that have just arrived) and to see him in tears because of it worried me.
  • MrsKBiggsMrsKBiggs Posts: 715
    I can totally understand how he's feeling - I sailed through my teaching studies and never had bad feedback during my placements, so to be told (after doing 8 months in my first year) by the Head that she 'could' fail me was a complete shock. It was also completely unjustified, but that's beside the point. I didn't know that at the time, as an NQT you trust the people who are around you, and I felt like it was an uphill battle to get any respect from her (I didn't, and I did leave halfway through the following year).

    That's why it's so important for your H2b to nip this in the bud. Either they will realise they've been a bit panicky due to upcoming OFSTED and take a step back, or not. In any case, your H2b will see their true colours, and can then decide if he wants to leave to work somewhere more supportive.

    Lots of colleagues tried to get me to stay, saying it wouldn't look good on my CV if I left my first school after a year and a term. I had no problem securing another job (2 in fact, although one was temporary) and I love my job and I love my school.

    All you can do is carry on supporting your H2b, and don't let it consume him - worklife balance is so important. x
  • Biggs2b - I have to disagree. All children deserve to have at the very least a 'good' teacher and by this stage - 8 months QUALIFIED, a teacher should be able to achieve good lesson observations for a particular lesson where they have time to prepare(though perhaps not all day every day).

    Satisfactory is really doing the bare minimum - 'most children in the class making satisfactory progress'. I don't want to go too much into my role on here but In my experience NQTs that are still only achieving satisfactory in their lesson observations at this stage are only ever going to be satisfactory teachers down the line.

    When I mentioned the outstanding it was in regard to a particular area in the lesson not overall. No reason why NQTs shouldn't be doing this. I myself have seen many. Indeed they are often better in areas like differentiation or use of ICT to move learning on.

    That being said, my experience is based upon NQTs having a good support system in place and a competant person conducting the lesson observations. If this is in doubt then if I were the OP's H2B I would welcome the external observation as a chance to prove himself.

    If the support is not in place, as I said before, there is no way they would be able to fail him.

  • My response was based on your original reply.

    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience in your NQT year. It should be a challenging but rewarding year. Glad you are now loving your job.
  • MrsKBiggsMrsKBiggs Posts: 715

    "In my experience NQTs that are still only achieving satisfactory in their lesson observations at this stage are only ever going to be satisfactory teachers down the line. "

    I am sure you are my ex-Headmistress in disguise. She reckoned she could have failed me (i.e Inadequate) and 4 yrs later I am working in an OFSTED 'outstanding' school, with consistently good-outstanding lesson obs myself. Each case should be judged independently, and frankly, as someone who did a PGCE (VERY fast-track into teaching) I had not had the experience of someone who had done a 3/4 yr teaching degree, so would make a very different NQT. Senior teachers making sweeping, and judgemental statement like yours do nothing to support or encourage new teachers who are going through what is essentially the most challenging year of their careers.
  • My role is one in which I oversee many, many NQTs. The vast majority are good, some have the potential to go on and be outstanding teachers. Some, however are satisfactory. They pass the NQT year but I always think it is a shame for the children on the receiveing end of the 'satisfactory' education. Satisfactory is not good enough for our pupils.

    My priority is always to the pupils in our schools. NQTs must be supoprted to be the best they can be, but if they are not good enough, they must be told. You should not be able to pass a year just because you 'really want it' or 'have tried really hard' or 'have always wanted to teach'. It is not about the adult wanted to teach it is about who the children deserve to have teaching them.

    Are you a parent? Would you want your child/ren taught by a satisfactory NQT?

    By the by I would not call the PGCE a very fast track into teaching. IT is what all secondary teachers do. The GTP is rather more fast track. It is irrelevant anyway, NQTs should be judged on the same level as they all have a class of children who need teaching.

    I am sorry, I appear to have offended you Biggs2b, you have clearly had a bad experience in your NQT year.

    To the OP, I am obviously not saying this is relevant to your H2B, I don't know him!image The fact that he has two senior managers speaking up for him is a positive. The best advice I can give (other than seeking union advice if they do try to fail him) is to check out the TES website. He will receive plenty of support and information there for this year, and the coming ones. He is lucky to have such a supportive partnerimage x

  • VelvetishVelvetish Posts: 266

    I think my reactions to his troubles are very much steeped in my own teaching experience. I am a PGCE primary about to resit and placement. My uni think Im too dyslexic to teach but have given me a repeat anyway. The thought he is suffering like i did breaks my heart. He has helped me so much too...

    My H2B I have observed...a good teacher in a very bad school...i just wish hed chosen another!He prefers KS1 too which I hope makes him employable.

    Hes not worried about the school not employing him next year, just about failing his NQT year.
  • MrsKBiggsMrsKBiggs Posts: 715
    I agree, children do deserve better than just a satisfactory education. What I find quite shocking is your belief that an NQT who passes their year with a satisfactory grade stays that way, like they don't improve and grow throughout their career, and I think that's a very blinkered view.
  • I am basing my opinion on experience.

    Of course satisfactory NQTs improve but so do good and outstanding NQTs, so if all progress at the same rate then you are still left with the satisfactory NQTs being the satisfactory teachers. If you look at the really outstanding teachers they tend to have been the very good NQTs and likewise if you look at a satisfactory teacher (of which there are, unfortunately, still many) they don't tend to have been outstaniding as NQTs.

    Of course you get some NQTs who make better than expected progress and become good or outstanding teachers but this is unusual.

    I have obvioulsy hit a nerve. I am purely basing my opinions on my experiences nothing more so feel free to ignoreimage

    To the OP, there is no reason why you can't be a teacher just because you are dyslexic. Some of the best teachers I have observed have had difficulties in learning at some point. They tend to really empathise with the pupils who find learning difficult and devise really creative methods of teaching them.

    Good luck image
  • MrsHedgehogMrsHedgehog Posts: 158
    I did a Primary PGCE but didn't do an NQT year as I found the whole system too stressful. I'm now teaching abroad and am much happier. I had no support or encouragement from my placement schools and even though I always had good and some outstanding observations they always made me feel like I'd failed. I think teachers are put under an incredible amount of pressure with very little thanks from parent's, pupils or colleagues. Teacher's are made to feel like they are failures if they don't put in 150%. During my PGCE placements I slept for about 3 or 4 hours a night, lived on M&S ready meals, had no social life, got exellent results and was still told by my mentor that I needed to do more. I think often teachers who seem to be doing a good job get less support because their mentors believe they are coping by themselves. I think your h2b needs to speak to the heads and discuss any problems. I think if teachers can prove that they are aware of any difficulties they have and are making steps to improve then that's the most important quality. It's teachers who think they know it all who are the worst teachers.
  • MrsKBiggsMrsKBiggs Posts: 715
    Velvetish - just wondered if there'd been any developments for your H2b? x
  • 4months4months Posts: 555 New bride

    In my NQT year - I had been at the school 4 weeks and was observed and it wasnt good - most of the stuff (a poor teacher that observed me) noticed was things that as a VERY new NQT i had not done before - like classroom environment - i had only been there 4 weeks as was still trying to suss out how I wanted to lay the tables out let alone consider the use of my pencil pots - please !!

    However, I am not in my fourth year of teaching, have consistenly outstanding lesson observation and I am a literacy co-ordinator ! So it just shows you that NQTs can develop and grow from their NQT year.

    I would suggest that your H2B takes a very mature approach and talks to the head, who spoke to him about behaviour management, and say that he appreciates her advice and please could he go and watch some other teachers and their approach to behaviour management to gain more experience and that he will implement consistent and fair techniques in his class.

    We too are awaiting ofsted and there has been a def noteable change in our head and deputy head - there are under immense pressure.

    I would suggest your H2B takes it more as advice than offence and is the bigger person rather than worrying about it and seeming so to the head.

    Hope that makes sense - apologies for spelling mistakes - typing quickly and too tired to correct mistakes !! haha !!
  • VelvetishVelvetish Posts: 266

    Thanks for the replies, I think we both feel a bit better.

    He looked through some of his forms and realised they were really posiive.

    He was supposed to have a target meeting Monday but that got cancelled (typical) and his mentor observed him for 10 minutes in PE (hell for Behaviour a times) and was pleased with him.

    Hes been telling me he feels better now hes being firmer so fingers crossed. image
  • MrsKBiggsMrsKBiggs Posts: 715
    That's good to hear Velvetish - sometimes it's good to have a break and put things into perspective. I hope things continue this way. x
  • FutureAggleFutureAggle Posts: 649
    My role is one in which I oversee many, many NQTs. The vast majority are good, some have the potential to go on and be outstanding teachers. Some, however are satisfactory. They pass the NQT year but I always think it is a shame for the children on the receiveing end of the 'satisfactory' education. Satisfactory is not good enough for our pupils.

    Then the pass level should be raised to "good" or even "outstanding", no?

    Whatever your personal opinion might be, "satisfactory" has been judged as good enough to teach, which is why it is a pass mark. And if the pass mark were to be moved upwards, some of the "goods" would then presumably become merely "satisfactory". If there is a problem here, it's with the threshold of the NQT grading, not with the teachers who are currently achieving it.
  • For once we seem to be in complete agreementimage I do feel the standards NQTs should meet should be higher. This would mean not so many NQTs passing but would also lead to better quality teachers for the children.

    I actually think this should be dealt with first of all at student teaching levels. Far too many pass that shouldn't be allowed near a classroom let alone in charge of the eduation of 30 + children!

    I am glad it had worked out for your h2b Velvetish. image
  • VelvetishVelvetish Posts: 266

    I just wanted to add to the satisfactory arguement as my other half has got a tough placement in a tough school- 1 of his children has ADHD, another has severe emotional/behaviour issues and he keeps getting new children from overseas in his class.

    Hes also had to support a bereaved/depressed me throughout this.

    I think grading is dependent on the school. My other half was marked very high on his training course. My friend who barely scraped through our PGCE course last year is getting goods and outstandings in a village school teaching 16 children...I think the school has a lot to do with it.

    Not to get at anyone but I had to stick up for him image
  • LBJBLBJB Posts: 219
    Totally agree with Biggs2b....

    GreatFosters I think you are indeed my old Headteacher in disguise! The attitude that you have, which was pushed onto me as an NQT is what sent me over the edge and almost saw me leaving the profession.

    As an NQT you are fresh out of the classroom, you know the mechanics of teaching, you know what you should be doing, but it certainly takes time to establish exactly how you do this, whilst juggling the extra balls you didnt have as a student teacher, namely VA, IIP, and the rest...

    I had satisfactory observations during my NQT year and during my student year... I am 4 years into my teaching career and am now receiving good with outstanding features for my obs. I have had to work damn hard to get to where I am now and am bloody proud of myself... I regret to think what would have happened to me with you as my mentor, I would certainly have been feeling like a failure for much of my career, and may well have given up my ambitions long ago....
  • ...but it took you two/three years to get there! Two or three years of satisfactory teaching is not really good enough for the pupils. Its all well and good that you wanted to be a teacher and now have a career you're good at, but it's not about you, it's about the children and quite frankly it takes some poople to long (and too many children to 'practice' on) to get there.

    By the by, many students are fantastic by the time they finish and you can hardly tell them apart from experienced teachers during their NQT year. It does not take them all a year (let alone several!) to establish good classroom management/behaviour management etc - otherwise no one wold want their childrn to be taught by NQTs.
  • LBJBLBJB Posts: 219
    So you're saying that unless you are not good at the job within the first few months you need not apply? how narrow minded!

    There are so many fantastic teachers that with people like you influencing them would never have made it to where they are now. Just because someone isnt displaying outstanding/good practise in every area within the first few months does not mean they are less entitled to a class!

    I'm actually shocked that there are people with your views out there. What values are you passing on to the children if thats the mentality you have with your staff? 'now children you have to brilliant almost straight away or it's just not good enough!' crikey!image

    Many parents throughout my career so far have commented on the positive relationship I have with my students and that it is something they appreciate and respect. Ensuring every child is acheiving the highest standard of learning in every lesson is only part of the job...
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