To avoid NQTs teaching for an indefinite time without undergoing or completing induction, DfE regulations state that an NQT may only do short-term or casual supply work for 5 years from the date that they have been awarded QTS before beginning or continuing induction.
A qualified teacher who gained QTS on or after 1 September 2007 who has not completed an induction period, can undertake short-term supply work of less than one term in a relevant school for a maximum period of 5 years from the point of award of QTS. This is a fixed time limit with no discretion to extend. Short-term supply placements of less than one term, or equivalent, cannot count towards induction, as such posts will not provide an NQT with the breadth of experience, support and assessment necessary to enable them to demonstrate that their performance against the relevant standards is satisfactory Once the 5 years has passed the NQT is then not allowed to teach in a maintained school or non-maintained special school until he/she takes a post that will count towards induction.
The head teacher/principal or supply agency is responsible for ensuring that a teacher who has not satisfactorily completed an induction period is eligible to carry out short term supply work.
It is not possible to backdate the start of an induction period if a short-term supply contract is extended beyond one term. However, an induction programme must be put in place immediately it becomes clear that the extended contract will continue for a further term or more.
If an NQT takes a post for the equivalent of a term or more which involves regularly teaching the same class(es), teaching the whole primary curriculum (if in a primary school) and planning for, reporting on and assessing those classes, even if part-time and even if through an agency, the school must commence induction.
Even if the contract is for the equivalent of a term or more, this employment cannot always count towards induction. To be appropriate for induction, a post must not involve only day to day cover of absent teachers, must involve whole-class teaching of regular classes and in primary schools must involve teaching the whole curriculum. However, some schools are employing NQTs for posts that do not meet these criteria (e.g. to provide PPA cover) if no non-NQT teacher is available. The 5 year supply rule’ applies to these posts.
Local Authorites are not permitted to extend the 5 year supply rule.
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