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Section 1: What action is the Welsh Government considering and why?
Induction for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) has been a statutory part of teachers’ professional learning in Wales since 2003. In 2012 arrangements were revised so that all periods of employment of a session (half a day) or more counted towards induction, allowing NQTs employed on a short-term supply basis to undertake induction.
Also at this time, the ‘5 year rule’ (the period of time during which induction had to be completed) was lifted, giving NQTs an infinite amount of time to complete induction.
In order to successfully complete induction, NQTs must have been employed as a teacher for 3 terms or equivalent (380 sessions for those employed as a supply teacher) and demonstrate they meet the professional standards.
Two independent reviews of induction were published in 2020: Research on teachers’ statutory induction by OB3) and Learning to be a teacher for Wales: the induction of teachers into the profession by Professor Mick Waters’. Both indicate the need for wholescale reform of induction to address a number of issues that broadly fall into 4 categories:
- variability of induction arrangements and inconsistency of support across Wales, particularly amongst NQTs undertaking induction via the short-term supply route
- practicalities of meeting the statutory induction requirements, particularly for NQTs undertaking induction via the short-term supply route
- low levels of teacher retention during the induction period and in the following five years
- a level of bureaucracy and focus on time served that overshadows the central purpose of induction
The changes set out in this document and in the consultation document have been designed to:
- create the conditions that enable all NQTs to receive effective and appropriate support during induction
- provide opportunities and support for all NQTs to engage with the relevant professional standards and have access to high-quality professional learning
- introduce some flexibility around the length of the induction period
- reduce variation in the access and quality of NQT support
- allow induction to take place in PRUs and
- clarify the governance and roles
Changes to the induction arrangements for NQTs, following the consultation which ended in April 2022, will be introduced in 2 stages.
The changes coming into force for September 2022 are as follows:
Support for the NQT
Mentoring and support will be carried out by a funded, trained induction mentor (IM) based in the school where the NQT is employed or by an external mentor (EM) if the NQT is undertaking induction via short term supply (also known as day-to-day supply). The same mentor will remain with the NQT throughout the induction period wherever possible. This will help to address the current variability and inconsistency of support seen across Wales.
The induction programme will include:
- a clear progression path that builds on experience gained in ITE, is rooted in the professional standards and provides the foundation for career-long professional learning which may include the Masters qualification at a later stage
- 13 days of professional learning provided by consortium/LA and school as proposed in Learning to be a teacher for Wales, which will, for example, focus on building professional behaviours as well as building on the processes from the beginning of ITE. Each regional consortium or local authority will provide three days of differentiated training provision for all NQTs in their area. Each NQT will be expected to attend all three days in addition to professional learning opportunities within their school. The professional learning opportunity should extend by a further 10 days. 5 days to be spent within school guided by the IM and 5 days co-ordinated by the regional consortia or local authority to extend insights through partnership learning, including extensive reading of theory and research
- formalised, flexible mentoring that includes regular professional dialogue and reflection on progress using the online induction profile within the professional learning passport (PLP)
Induction for teachers employed on a short-term supply basis
- Short-term supply NQTs will receive support from an external mentor (see ‘Support for the NQT’ above).
- During their induction period, NQTs employed on a supply basis are strongly encouraged to ensure their induction period includes employment in one setting for a term, or two consecutive half terms. A continuous period of teaching in one setting ensures that NQTs have the opportunity to experience and be a part of the working life of a school, for example, by taking part in parents’ evenings and/or curriculum planning. It enables them to gain the professional experience and skills required to evidence the full range of professional standards and will help to prepare them for a career in teaching.
- The role of all stakeholders with short-term supply NQTs identified as a cause for concern will be clarified to enable additional support to be put in place in a timely manner.
Governance and roles
The decision-making function on the outcome of induction (validation) is now separate from the NQT support function. Roles are clarified as follows:
- IMs/EMs provide mentoring and support, observe the NQT and make a recommendation about whether the NQT meets the standards, using the induction profile.
- EVs validate a sample of induction profiles as part of quality assurance.
- ABs operate at LA level and are responsible for making the final decision on the induction outcome. ABs also take part in national moderation
- The induction programme is overseen by induction co-ordinators (on a regional or LA basis) in collaboration with schools and ITE providers, to support the development of NQTs in their area. This includes organisation of effective mentoring (including for NQTs undertaking induction via short-term supply), and the design and co-ordination of an appropriate programme of professional learning.
- The separation of induction roles will ensure a governance system that provides assurance, accountability and consistency.
- All administrative processes associated with the induction programme have been reviewed and simplified wherever possible to lessen the bureaucratic experience of NQTs.
Changes coming into force in November 2022 following the introduction of revised Regulations are as follows:
All NQTs must complete an induction period of three school terms or the equivalent. The revised Regulations give ABs discretion to reduce the length of the induction period for NQTs who can demonstrate that they meet the standards in less than three terms/380 sessions. No NQT can complete induction in less than one term (110 sessions).
This flexibility allows all NQTs, who meet the professional standards, to complete their induction within a shorter period. NQTs who have previous experience of working within an education setting, as a teaching assistant, in a school abroad, or in an FE college may benefit from the flexibility, as their experience may mean that they are able to demonstrate achievement of the standards sooner.
NQTs will be required to complete their induction within five years of gaining QTS or within five years of the date the regulations come into force, whichever is the later. The majority of NQTs take around three school terms or 380 sessions to complete their induction. This proposal still provides NQTs with flexibility to complete their induction over a five-year period whilst ensuring that NQTs’ pedagogical skills and knowledge are up-to-date. A maximum period of up to two years’ extension may be given in certain circumstances. It will also bring teaching in line with other professions such as the legal profession where time limits are imposed for the completion of qualifications.
The amendments have been designed to bring about change in the following ways:
The model is consistent with WG’s commitment in Prosperity for All: economic action plan which is to support young people to make the most of their potential, to ‘focus relentlessly on driving up every pupil’s attainment, transforming the standards teachers must achieve.’
The changes have been developed in collaboration with key partners in induction: the EWC, induction leads within the regional consortia and local authorities and ITE providers. We have also kept other key stakeholder and the workforce unions updated with the development of the changes.
Both of the independent research projects involved a qualitative enquiry into the experiences of NQTs’ and those who support them. The research findings have informed policy development. The results of an NQT survey carried out by ITE providers and regional consortia in the spring have been taken into account in designing the mentoring and support that NQTs will receive during their placement and for the remainder of their induction period. Stakeholders were involved in the development of proposals which were then subject to public consultation.
Costs and savings
Costs associated with the changes will be funded in the usual way via the EWC’s grant offer letter. There are additional costs related to the proposal of funding the IMs for the current academic year. Up to £1,050 will be available per school to provide IM support to NQTs. This additional cost is seen as an investment as it will ensure that all NQTs are provided with school-based support.
There are opportunities to make some savings due to the ability for some NQTs to complete induction in less than three terms or 380 sessions. In such cases the NQT would cease to receive support from an induction mentor once induction was completed. In addition, the funding to release NQTs for an additional 10% of their teaching time would also cease when they successfully complete induction.
For example, currently, a school receives approximately £900 per term to fund the 10% time that NQTs are released from their teaching timetable. Should an NQT complete their induction in less than three terms, then the funding allocated to the school would be reduced accordingly. Funding for the induction mentor is paid at a rate of £350 per term. Therefore, if an NQT completed induction in less than three terms or 380 sessions the funding for the mentor would be reduced accordingly. The savings per NQT are likely to be minimal, however, and it is anticipated that the majority of NQTs will take around three terms or 380 sessions to demonstrate, via their induction profile, that they meet the professional standards.
Section 8: Conclusion
How have people most likely to be affected by the changes been involved in developing it?
Representation from all parties involved in induction, including NQTs, participated in the two independent reviews of induction that were published in 2020. Recommendations from the reviews were considered by the induction stakeholder group which included representatives from:
Teaching workforce unions have also been kept updated of changes.
A formal public consultation was conducted in the spring 2022.
What are the most significant impacts, positive and negative?
The changes will have a positive impact on the focus of induction by shifting it away from time served, to the development of NQTs’ skills and knowledge. Those NQTs who are on a trajectory to pass their statutory induction earlier than the current arrangements allow will be allowed to do so. This will allow these NQTs to seek teaching positions and continue their career. The changes will also continue to allow flexibility to those NQTs who need up to five years to complete induction due to personal, health and well-being or caring reasons.
In light of the impacts identified, how will the changes:
maximise contribution to our well-being objectives and the seven well-being goals
avoid, reduce or mitigate any negative impacts?
The changes will have a minimal positive impact on the health and mental wellbeing of NQTs as they will allow NQTs who are on a trajectory to pass their statutory induction and who have demonstrated they have met the professional standards but have not yet completed three terms/380 sessions to have their induction period reduced and progress their career as anticipated.
The changes will avoid NQTs who meet the standards from having to continue their induction solely for the purpose of meeting the ‘time-served’ requirement of existing Regulations.
The changes will also continue to allow flexibility to those NQTs who need it, up to five years (and with the possibility of a two-year extension) to complete induction due to personal, health and well-being or caring reasons.
How will the impact of the proposal be monitored and evaluated as it progresses and when it concludes?
As noted above, the changes will have effect in two stages. The first changes will take place from September 2022. The second stage will take place in November and subject to Regulations coming into force.
The impact of both phases will be monitored closely by Welsh Government officials using data from regional induction leads and EWC. We will work with induction partners to review progress against policy objectives. The legislation will be reviewed in 2025.
Children's rights impact assessment
Describe and explain the impact of the proposal on children and young people.
The changes will not have a negative effect on children and young people.
Explain how the proposal is likely to impact on children’s rights.
The following UNCRC articles are most relevant to the changes:
- Article 3 1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
- Article 28 1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity.
- Article 29 1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to: (a)The development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.
The changes will allow induction to take place in a pupil referral unit (PRU) from 6 November, which will enable NQTs who wish to be employed in this sector to gain the necessary experience during induction.
The needs and rights of learners is one of the values and dispositions that underpin the professional standards which NQTs are required to meet to successfully complete induction. The changes will ensure that NQTs will be fully supported to meet the professional standards, regardless of the employment route they take through induction, to ensure a high-quality education for all learners.
Revised guidance will be published for NQTs and other key stakeholders in September 2022 and further revised for November 2022 to ensure that all those involved in induction will be able to clearly understand the changes made.