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What does the new two-year NQT period mean for me?

  • Publish Date: Posted about 3 years ago
  • Author: Leah Baker

​Over the years, guidance for new teachers had gradually built up, starting in 1999 with the introduction of an induction period. The latest changes are already in play in some places in the UK, and by September 2021, the roll-out will go national.

As part of the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy - announced first in 2019 - education policymakers decided a revamp of the NQT year was needed. So the Early Career Framework (ECF) was published to show a commitment to supporting those who want to teach. The new two-year period aims to make sure that “all early career teachers will receive a sustained and structured package of support over the first two years of their career.”

An additional £130 million every year will be invested to support the delivery of this framework, which is a big boost for the education sector. So, what does the new two-year NQT period mean for you?

What to expect from an NQT Induction

Before we delve into the new two-year structure, let’s backtrack to what you can expect from the NQT Induction. When the induction was one year, we created an NQT Survival Guide. We call it this because being an NQT comes with its challenges. But it also gives you the chance to inspire young students, inject some life into their learning and build a fulfilling career.

As an NQT, you’ll have access to trained mentors, structured support, tax-free retention bursaries and specialist qualifications. What more could you want? Over the new two-year period, you’ll have three assessments, but don’t be alarmed - the standards to pass these haven’t changed. The aim of the new structure is to boost the level of support you receive. To help you become a qualified teacher, you’ll also have access to high-quality, free training materials, approved by the ECF.

How will the first year be different?

Firstly, the 10% protected off-timetable time will remain in place to make sure you have the chance to develop skills outside of the classroom. You can spend this time with your mentor or on other supportive activities. On top of this, some schools will allow 10% planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time.

In truth, the first year will remain largely the same. The induction is designed to give you a solid foundation of teaching skills so you can confidently build on this knowledge over your career. Following on from your ITT, you’ll receive personalised support and guidance. You'll also have regular professional review meetings with your headteacher or induction tutor to see how you are progressing.

What additional support will you get in the second year?

In your second NQT year, you’ll have 5% protected off-timetable time, which you’d otherwise miss out on. You can spend this non-contact time your development, and the ECF gives these Teachers’ Standards as a guide:

The structure of your second year will be slightly different, and so will the expectations. You’ll have slightly more contact time, giving you more opportunities to put the theory into practice.

As part of the aim to improve teacher retention, the strategy proposes national professional qualifications (NPQs). These will be perfect if you want further your teaching career but remain in the classroom rather than rising through the leadership ranks.

Let Dunbar Education help you secure your first teaching role

Finding the right teaching job matters. You’ll already have an idea of the size of school you want to teach in, the teaching styles you believe in and the level of support you expect. So finding a school that suits you can seem like a big task. But it doesn’t have to be!

Dunbar Education is a leading recruitment agency. Our NQT Team work exclusively with teachers who are interested in hearing about posts to complete their induction year. We’ve partnered with schools across the UK and have access to some brilliant teaching opportunities. To get a better idea of what we can offer you, here are six reasons why you should choose an agency.

Email the NQT team, or if you’re short on time, upload your CV and we will be in touch.