Everyone who qualified as a teacher after May 1999 has to complete an induction period to work in state schools in England.

The new qualified teacher (NQT) induction process is designed to offer new teachers support in their professional development after gaining qualified teacher status (QTS).

Usually over one year, the induction period acts as a bridge between your initial teacher training and your teaching career.

The induction period consists of a slightly reduced timetable and you will prove you have met all the professional standards to become a great teacher.

How long is the induction?

The induction lasts for three school terms, which are often completed consecutively and on a full-time basis in one academic year. In England, NQTs can take as long as they need to complete their induction period, while in Wales they need to apply for an extension if they do not meet the requirements in three terms.

What about part-time teachers? 

If you’re a part-time teacher and have a contract for a term or more in a school, then you can complete your induction. It has to cover the equivalent of 189 school days. For instance, the induction period for a teacher working for 50 per cent of the time will need to last for six school terms (at a school that has a three-term academic year).

Where can I do my induction?

You can complete your induction in most schools around the country – from maintained schools to academies and free schools. You can also undergo induction at an independent school overseas, as long as it has been inspected by a DfE-accredited inspectorate within the past six years against the standards for inspection of British schools overseas.

For nurseries and children’s centres, you must teach classes of pupils predominantly aged three and over and have a headteacher who can make the recommendation against the relevant standards. For further education institutions, no more than 10 per cent of your timetable should be spent teaching classes of pupils over the age of 19.

You can’t do an induction in a Pupil Referral Unit or a school under special measures unless HMI says you’ll be well supported.

When do NQTs have to start induction?

As soon as you have a job for a term. There is no time limit following the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), by which NQTs have to start their induction in England. It’s best to complete induction as soon as possible after being awarded QTS to build on and strengthen the skills gained during initial teacher training (ITT).

I have been told that NQTs have to start/complete their induction within five years of being awarded QTS. Is this true?

There is no time limit to starting induction. There is a five year limit in Wales.

How do I pass?

Throughout the induction year, you will be observed regularly and have frequent meetings to discuss your development with an induction tutor or another suitable person who holds QTS. At the end of each full term of your induction year, you will be formally assessed with either your induction mentor or school leader to see if you are on track to meeting the Teaching Standards.

After your final assessment in the third term, your school leader is required to make a recommendation to the appropriate body (the local authority or relevant teaching school), stating whether you have made satisfactory progress towards meeting all of the standards. The appropriate body will then assess whether you have met the requirements to pass your induction period and will write to your leader to confirm the decision.  

Can an NQT change from teaching Primary to Secondary or vice versa during their induction year?

Yes, there is no legal obstacle – once an NQT has QTS they can teach any age range and subject. However, teaching outside the age range for which you trained is unlikely to offer the best context for induction and you are likely to need additional support in order to meet, and show that you are meeting, the Core Standards.

What am I entitled to during my induction?

Your school leader is required to give you a 10 per cent reduction in your teaching timetable to allow for meetings with your induction tutor and other necessary activities (this is an additional reduction on top of the 10 per cent set aside on all teachers’ timetables for preparation, planning and assessment). You are also entitled to an appropriately qualified induction tutor, who will offer regular reviews on your progress, ahead of the formal assessment meetings each term.

What happens if I fail induction?

If your head and appropriate body think that you do not meet the core standards, you won’t be allowed to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school in England – ever. However, you can appeal against the decision. If you are deregistered, you would only be able to teach in an independent school or work as a private tutor, but your qualified teacher status isn’t taken away.